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i— i 

Beresford of Beresford. 

part I. 





The Rev. William Beresford, 

Vicar of S. Lukes, and Rural Dean of Leek, 

Member of the Editorial Committee of the William Salt Archceological 

Society for publishing the Records of the County of Stafford; 

A Trustee of the Salt Library at Stafford, etc., etc., 


The late Mr. Samuel B. Beresford, 

Francis Galton Prizeman for Family Records, 
of Ilford, Essex. 




More than forty years ago the writer published in The 
Reliquary a series of papers on " The Northern Borders of 
Staffordshire." These included Buglawton, Bosley, Gawsworth, 
Wincle, and Macclesfield Forest in Cheshire, and the Moors and 
Moorlanders, Flash, Bald Stone, and Longnor, in Staffordshire. 
(See Saturday Review, September 22, 1866.) Portions of them 
have since been copied, e.g., in the Rev. W. Sutcliffe's Bosley, 
and in the late Sir P. L. Brocklehurst's Sivythamley ; and extracts, 
reappearing for weeks in a Buxton paper, brought Lud Church 
into notice. The present work on Beresford simply takes up 
'the story of the Staffordshire Border where it was left, so long 
ago. The writer, however, has not only had the personal refresh- 
ment of turning from his clerical duties to this local history, 
but has also had the help of other members of the Beresford 
family, the present work being, indeed, designed as an introduc- 
tion to a History of the several branches of the family. 
For this purpose very extensive collections have been made which 
are now in the writer's hands, and he hopes, that if the present 
volume be fairly welcomed, he may be spared to go on in 
Part II. with the story of the branches, in the company of the 
Rev. E. A. Beresford, restored to his usual health. A third part 
has been already published, and a few copies of it still may 
be had. 

We may explain here that the letters " H. S. C," so fre- 
quently used in this little book, are an abbreviated expression 
of the many volumes in the old and new series of the " Collections 
for a History of Staffordshire," published by the William Salt 
Archaeological Society, and which consist largely of the learned 
and unique contributions of General the Hon. G. Wrottesley, to 
whom the writer is also greatly indebted for criticisms and 
information privately given. 


Some years ago, at the suggestion of the Rev. E. A. 
Beresford, a short Preliminary Sketch of the history of the family 
by the present writer was circulated amongst its members. In 
this the Audleys were looked upon as the principal landlords of 
Alstonfield, representing as they did the second daughter of the 
last Baron of Malbanc, who died in 1220. But her elder and 
younger sisters were also her coparceners; and as the elder 
acted as Lady of the Manor and lost her rights to the 
Despencers, the forfeit of the latter seems to have carried the 
feudal overlordship of Alstonfield first to the Crown and then 
to the Duchy of Lancaster. But the Audleys held on to their 
possessions for many centuries, and some new light, in the 
shape of extracts from inquisitions, p.m., of the Audleys by 
Mr. J. C. Wedgwood, M.P., has appeared since the following 
pages were in print. In that of 1307-8, we read — "Alstonfield: — 
.... A certain meadow at Fanfield [Fawfield] .... a 
certain wood with the pasture, called La Foreste, the profit of 
which is worth yearly £\. And there is there a rent of 
assize of free tenants yearly 65s. io|-d., and one ' quivere ' for 
arrows, twelve arrows feathered and two bolted, and six heads 
of arrows worth n^d., viz., from Richard de Draycote who 
holds one messuage two bovates of land for two arrow heads, 
price id. ; Henry the Despencer who holds one vaccary called 
Ouernyford fOuarnford) for four heads of arrows, price 2d. ; 
Adam de Beresford, who holds the hamlet of Beresford for one 
quiver of twelve arrows feathered and two arrows bolted, price 
8|d." (H.S.C., n.s. xi., p.p. 13 and 257.) General Wrottesley 
thinks that though Malbanc Forest became divided into three 
bailiwicks, the Beresfords — "a three headed watch-dog, like 
Cerberus "—eventually obtained all three ; " or perhaps never 
parted with any in the first instance." 

For permission to reproduce Mr. New's graphic drawings 
we are indebted to Mr. John Lane, the Publisher of The 
Compleat Angler, in which they appeared. 

S. Luke's Vicarage, Leek, July, 1908. 


Beresford Hall, South Front 
The Castle Rock . 
Watch Tower Ruins 
Sheet Pedigree 
The Castle Rock idealized 
Old Sculpture of Arms 
Lancastrian Coins . 
Alstonfield Church 
West Side of the Hall 
Back of the Hall. 
Fishing House 










Beresford of Beresford. 

PART 1. 

History of the Manor. 

\ \ 



lEarl^ fca^s at Beresforfc. 

HE river Dove forms the eastern boundary of 
Staffordshire, dividing that county from Derby- 
shire throughout its entire length. The river 
rises on the high land south of Buxton, drops down to 
Crowdicote, and then enters a valley which is full of 
romance from end to end, and as rich in traces of the 
Ancient Britons as of the mediaeval abbeys which had 
farming establishments in or near it during the middle 
ages. Pilsbury Castle and Arbor Low are famous en- 
trenchments of the earliest character. The latter, Arbor 
Low, lies on the left or Derbyshire side of the river, 
about midway between Buxton and Ashbourne, on the 
high land ; and from this high land a ridge of lofty 
peaks strikes westwards into the Staffordshire Moorlands, 
striding accross the Dove just below Hartington, and 
dropping down from Wolfscote hill on the eastern side 

2 Beresford of Beresford. 

of the river to Gratton, Narrowdale hill and Gateham, 
due west or at right angles from the Dove 

In a pleasant basin on the norih side of the ridge 
of peaks just named lies the ancient triangular manor 
of Beresford between three fords — those of Hartington 
and Beresford on the Dove and that of Archford or 
Hulme End on the Manifold. The manor has shrunk 
in importance since its ancient hall was forsaken by its 
ancient lord and now occupies a portion of the township 
of Fawfield Head detached. It is a manor within a 
manor, the latter being that of Alstonfield. But the 
whole township of Fawfield Head, consisting of over five 
thousand acres, stretches northwards as far as Longnor ; 
and since this township and the townships of Quarnford 
with Heathy-lee — some fourteen thousand acres in extent — 
represent the ancient townships of " High Frith and 
Basford," we get a view of the extent of country for- 
merly owned or dominated by the lords of Beresford. 
Hio-h Frith was the higher and Beresford the lower 
portion of a district the most of which was forest. 

Shrunken, however, though the manor may be, its 
famous dale combines in miniature all the beauties of 
Dovedale. It has its grey cliffs overhung with foliage, 
its murmuring river, its tall and slender tor rising out 
of Pike Pool, its mysterious caves, and, what Dovedale 
has not, the ruins of an ancient manor house with a 
history which, though unwritten until now, is worthy of 
attempt as well because of its chequered continuity 
through many ages as because of the reputation achieved 
by some members of the Family long situated there- 

The Family is indeed in a quiet way so closely 


A - 

Prehistoric Fortress and Caves at Beresford. 3 

bound up with our national life, that its history will be 
illustrative of every period. 

That history stretches back, we think, beyond the 
Conquest. On the ridge between the old hall at Beres- 
ford and the Dale is a record in rock which should 
not be overlooked. A great cliff, like a mighty tower, 
rises almost from the edge of the river Dove and 
dominates both the dale above and below, and also the 
country stretching northwards and westwards for many 
a mile. The cliff is cut off from the land behind or west 
of it by an artificial trench, and on every other side is 
inaccessible. An ancient dungeon has been built in the 
trench and a tower has just been rebuilt upon it which 
carried a beacon in Cotton's time. The rock has every 
appearance of being a primitive fortress, such as are 
not uncommon in North Staffordshire. They point to 
days when as yet combination on a large scale was not 
understood, and when men knew neither tribe nor 
kingdom but lived in family or village communities. 
Moreover, about a hundred yards from the fortress is 
a cave so cunningly contrived and cut in the limestone 
rock as to have been almost past discovery. This cave 
played an important part in the fortunes of the family 
after the castle-rock had been abandoned and its loose 
stones removed 1 to build the more convenient and 
sheltered hall on its western side. But Cotton speaks 
of more caves than one. He writes : 

"Oh my beloved caves! From Dog-star heats 
And bitter persecution, safe retreats. 

I Foundations of a massive outer wall are visible on the edge of the rock. 

4 Beresford of Beresford. 

What Safety, Privacy ! What true delight 
In the artificial Night 

Your gloomy entrails make 

Have I taken, do I take ! 
How oft when grief has made me fly 
To hide me from Society, 
Even of my dearest friends have I 

In your recesses friendly shade 

All my sorrows open laid 
And my most secret woes entrusted to your privacy." 

Now — venturesome as the assertion may appear — 
the rock fortress mentioned above so closely agrees in 
primitive Ivernian character with the physical features of 
the English Beresfords that we are disposed to think of 
fortress and family as linked together from a very early 
date, earlier perhaps even than the settlement of the 
Roman soldiers on the overlooking peak of Wolfscote. 
For whilst content only to watch Beresford the Romans 
fixed themselves in Pilsbury Castle higher up the Dove 
valley, and reduced the British fortress there to ruin 2 
as is plain from existing features. 

The Staffordshire Moorlands appear to have been 
largely forest lands before the Norman Conquest. The 

2 Professor Maitland's Note may be interesting in this connection. (Page 133 
Domesday Book.) "The word which deserves our best attention is burh. . . . Now 
it seems fairly clear that for some long time after the Germanic invasions the word 
burh meant merely a fastness, a stronghold, and suggested no thick population nor 
any population at all. The hill top that has been fortified is a burh. Very often 
it has given its name to a neighbouring village." Pilsbury Grange is a group of 
buildings half a mile south of the castle, which castle consists of a strong entrench- 
ment commanding a ford of the Dove, half of which entrenchment was grimly turned 
into a huge burial mound, and close to this on the sunny side, is the square Roman 
entrenchment, Roman relics having been found in the adjacent field. Both these 
fortresses and one lower down the river near Hanson and above Dove Holes evi- 
dently commanded the fords of the river. 

The Earliest Settlers at Beresford. 5 

place names of lower reaches of the Dove show that 
they were invaded by Danes who settled themselves 
about Okeover and Thorpe and came— so we gather 
from place names -as far up Dovedale as Hanson. 
But they do not seem to have been able to displace 
the settler at Beresford from his rock. At the Con- 
quest these forest lands remained still in the tenure 
of the occupants so far at least as Okeover and the 
Rudyerds were concerned. That Beresford also was 
undisturbed seems probable. The Ivernian features of 
the rock foi tress agree, as already noted, with the 
family type of small dark and lively personages. The 
tenure, too, under which the medieval manor was 
held, the socage tenure, is rare and marks estates which 
escaped the grasp of the Conqueror. 3 Moreover, let us 
add, tradition says that William Rufus visited the forest 
in person and razed Longnor to the ground because its 
inhabitants were inveterate dear-stealers. 4 But another 
purpose more probably brought him or his agents hither. 
He needed the help of the old pre-Norman families 
against the Normans who disputed his succession to the 
throne; and to that fact our ancient Moorlanders may 
owe the favourable terms under which they were allowed 
to remain. Arguing also from personal names, we may 
say that the Moorlanders were not Saxon. The Saxons 

3 Williams' Real Property, p. 121. Hallam's Middle Ages, chap. VIII. end. 
4 This tradition I had from Mr. Milward of Longnor about forty years ago. 
He was then an old man. To him our knowledge of the locality of Malbanc 
Forest is due. Domesday Record shows that the district m Warslow and about 
Beresford was three times as populous and prosperous as the rest of Alstonefield, 
and this fact may have originated the term Fawfieklhead, the name of the townslnp 
of which Beresford is a part.— The Fairfield ?-W.B. 

6 Beresford of Beresford. 

penetrated into the hills little further than Stoke-on-Trent, 
and never obtained more than scattered colonies in the 
district of the Upper Dove. The people of the Lower 
Dove in the Roll of Burton Abbey are Osberts, Ailwins, 
Leurics, Godrics, Gamels, and Edrics, but the Beresfords 
were traditionally John, Hugh, Aden or Adam, and 

The Domesday Survey of Warslow, part of Alston- 
field, should have included Beresford in it as did the 
Inquisition of 1275; but the Survey is imperfect and 
was never completed. The entry runs : — " In Wereslei 
quae pertinet huic manerio (Alstonfield) est terra . 
Ibi sunt iiij villani, & ii bord : cu : i car. Ibi viij ac 
pti, Silua ibi una leuii Ig dimid : lat : val : XL Sol. 
Goduin ten." 5 The letter R in the margin shows that 
further enquiry had to be made into local circumstances. 
But it was not made. And here arises an important 
question. Captain John Beresford, who in 1681 bought 
Beresford from Joseph Wodehouse to whom Charles 
Cotton sold it, was something of an antiquary. As we 
shall see later on, he made a journey in wretched weather 
to Combermere Abbey to investigate the history of 
Newton Grange ; and he not only bought Beresford as 
it stood, but actually allowed the Cottons to remain 

5 "In Warslow, which pertains to this manor, is land Here are 4 

villeins, &: 2 borderers with one plough, 8 acres of meadow, and a wood 3 miles 
long by i£ wide. Value 40s. Godwin held it." 

"In the description of a wasted tract in Staffordshire (in Domesday Book) we 
see six cases close together in which two different guesses as to the number of 

potential teamlands are recorded How much arable land is there in this 

village? Well, if by arable you mean land that is ploughed, there is none." — 
Professor Maitland's Donnsday. p. 426. 

Early M.S Testimony. 7 

there ; so that he had every opportunity of investigating 
muniments before the break up of the Cottons dispersed 
them. Amongst other documents at Beresford he found 
a List of Deeds apparently made by a herald who had 
been employed by the family on becoming linked with 
the Stanhopes to draw up its pedigree in 1621, 6 and 
Captain John made a copy of the List which we quote 
as D. 98. This together with very many other ancient 
copies and original Beresford Deeds is now in the 
possession of Mr. Charles Drury of Sheffield by whose 
kindness and unfailing courtesy the freest access to them 
has been given. 7 The herald's note on the earliest of 
the Beresford Deeds is thus made: — "4 Octob. 1 W 2, 
1087 Johes Beresford fuit scit de manerio de Beresford 
Christopher Beresford sen. was a witness." The language 
is that of the herald translating the older phraseology 
of the Deed. 

The original of the record thus mentioned cannot be 
found, but Sir Simon Degge and Thomas Blore, the 
Topographer, both fully believed in its genuine character. 8 
And when one remembers that William II. is said to 
have been in the neighbourhood at that very date, one 

6 This Pedigree in contemporary hand was given in my presence some years 
ago by the Widow of the Rector of Fenny Bentley to the Rev. E. A. Beresford. She 
had it when Mr. Lucas's goods at Bentley were dispersed. — W.B. 

7 The Beresford Deeds, now belonging to Mr. Charles Drury, were formerly 
at Bentley New Hal', and were left behind by Captain Richard Beresford at the 
beginning of the nineteenth century when he got rid of his Derbyshire estates. At 
Bentley Hall the deeds were found by the late Mr. Lucas and bequeathed to Mrs. 
Faulkner, whose daughter married Mr. Drury. We quote them under the letter D, 
with their numbers. (See Reliquary, vol. IX, 178, for an explicit statement as to 
where they were found). 

8 Note in Blore's Pcclignc of B ires ford. 

8 Beresford of Beresford. 

might suppose that the deed contained the terms on 
which John de Beresford was allowed either to settle or, 
perhaps more probably, to remain at Beresford. 

A manor in the best part of the Moorlands and a 
quasi-serjeantcy of the district, under the Norman lords 
may have remained to a John de Beresford in 1087. 
If he belonged to a race long settled at Beresford we 
may regard him as having obtained much favour with 
the Conquerors. But on the other hand, the smallness 
of the grant, if grant it were, hardly justifies the tradition, 
which has always run, that the Beresfords were Norman. 
Their supposed Christian names in Norman times corres- 
pond with those of their Norman over-lords, and this 
would lead one to suppose that, if not members of that 
wide-spreading Norman family which settled around them 
as De Audleys, De Verduns, De Ipstones, De Biddulphs, 
etc., they were ante-Saxon in sympathy, being perhaps 
pre-Saxon ; for it was probably after Hugh Lupus Earl 
of Chester, on whom Alstonfield devolved, and after 
Hugh de Malbanc who held Alstonfield under Lupus 
that our supposed John de Beresford named his supposed 
son and successor Hugh de Beresford. 

But beyond doubt the earliest recorded spelling of 
the name is not "Beresford" at all but " Beveresford." 
General Wrottesley thinks John de Beveresford who attests 
an Okeover document not later than 1241 is the earliest 
yet discovered 9 and certainly the Aden de Beversford 
of the time of Edward II. and III. was the first to 
change his name to Beresford. 

9 H. S. C. (2) VII., 155. 

Ancient Forest in Alstonfield. 9 

We may at all events safely conclude, then, both 
that the name is derived from a ford, and that this ford 
in the sunny end of Beresford Dale was once remarkable 
for a colony of beavers whose carefully built dam formed 
an early footway over the stream and made a pool in 
the Dove deep enough for the beavers to defy the 
wolves which have left their names on the neighbour- 
ing Wolfscote hall and hill. But may we not also 
conclude that all the circumstances, whether of local 
rock and earth-works, situation, family features, tradition, 
alleged ancient documents (vouched for by the most 
eminent antiquaries of the past), all show that the Beres- 
fords were here at the Conquest, or even earlier ? Nor 
did they fail after the Conquest, as we shall hope to 
indicate in the next chapter. But let us first get 
a clear view of the district about the time of the 

The Domesday Record not only includes Warslow 
within the manor of Alstonfield but it tells that the 
whole manor of Alstonfield was held as a knight's fee 
by Roger, Count of Shrewsbury, and by William de 
Malbanc under him. The first part of the record runs : — 
Terra Comitis Rogerii. Ipse com : ten : yEnestanefelt 
et Wills de eo. Ibi sunt iii virg : trae :. Tra e : iii 
car. In dnio e : una & un : vills cu : i car :. 

From which we gather that almost the whole manor 
was a desolation. In its widespread area of 21,860 
acres, only three virgates were worth notice, and there 
were but three plough lands and one plough. Warslow, 
however, as we have seen, was better off, having besides 
that which the hiatus covers, four farmers, two labourers, 

io Beresford of Beresford. 

a plough, eight acres of meadow, and a wood one league 
long by half a league broad. 

But only for a short time did the Count of Shrews- 
bury retain the overlordship. William de Malbanc, Baron 
of Wich Malbanc in Cheshire, had soon the satisfaction 
of seeing- his moorland manor transferred to the Honor 
of Chester under whose great and almost royal Earl, 
Hugh the Wolf, he was Lord M archer. 

Beresford, as we shall presently see, a manor within 
the manor of Alstonfield, lay in Warslow. Tradition 10 
says that a squirrel could leap from bough to bough 
from the Valley of the Manifold to Beresford Hall. 
The manor was sheltered on every side by great hills 11 
except on the west whence the forest sloped down to 
the pleasant meadows by the Dove, and lay on the 
extreme edge of the march-land which bounded the 
" Honor of Chester " to the east. Its peculiar rent, 
twelve broad arrows and a quiver, or twelve pence 
annually, also suggests a further service, the — quasi- 
sergeantcy — which may be well indicated by that under 
which at a latter date the Fawns held land in Duffield 
Frith. We are told 12 that they paid only twelve pence a 
year, because one of their estates in the Frith or Forest 
was that where the lord's chamber lay. So, as Beresford 
was the only house in Malbanc Forest offering accommo- 

io Reliquary, 1864, p. 202. Mr. Carrington had this from aged persons who 
had it from aged persons who could remember it. 

11 On the south-east lies Wolfscote Hill, and on the south Gratton Hill, Narrow- 
dale, Narrowdale Hill, and Gateham, the latter overtopped by Wetton Hill — a ridge 
which formed a view from Beresford looking south. 

12 Glover's Derbyshire, Vol. II., 3. 

Ruins of Beresford Tower before rebuilding 
by Mr. Green in 1905-6. There is a vault 
beneath the area through the door. These ruins 
form the base of the Restored Tower on the 
Castle Rock. 

What a Forest was. 1 1 

dation to travellers over the twelve miles of moorland 
and forest which lay between it and Leek, there can be 
little doubt that both the Malbancs and their palatine 
lords looked eagerly for the Tower on the Keep at 
Beresford as soon as they gained the ridge of Morridge 
and got well into the forest, which lay before them, in 
Beresford's custody. 

General Wrottesley thus writes :— " These so-called 
forests were great tracks of moor or waste land : un- 
cultivated, and were really chases. Most of the great 
Barons had 

1 The chase for the wild 
The park for the tame.' 

as Walter Scott says. They were rarely, if ever, made 
by the Normans ; for the features of the country existed 
at the time of the Conquest, and nearly all the terms 
of venery are Saxon. So the name of the Forest 
Courts is Saxon, viz., Swainmote. Most of the foresters 
too have Saxon names, such as Trumwyn, Alfred de 
Canoe, etc. The laws of the forest in use at the time 
of the Conquest were those of Canute, and they were 
much mitigated by the Normans. You will see this is 
a very different account from that given by Thierry and 
the monkish historians from which he derives his ideas. 
In the introduction to The Forest Pleas in Vol. V. of 
our Collections, I have tried to combat the generally 
received notions about the forest laws of the Normans." 
All that is said here, about the easy terms made at 
Beresford between the Norman invader and the British 
settler there, illustrates the truth of the General's 

12 Beresford of Beresford. 

Thus then as the country settled down after the 
Conquest we find the manor of Alstonfield occupied by 
a forest, over part of which at least, the Bevers- 
fords or Beresfords, when they appear, were Master 
Foresters. But the situation of Beresford on the river 
Dove suggests also that its owner was custodian of the 
important " fords " between which the place lay. This 
duty would be re-imposed upon them by the Malbancs, 
who had charge of the Earl of Chester's marches. The 
forest lands between Beresford and Leek bordered the 
great road from Chester to Lincoln and became Malbanc 
Frith or Malbanc Forest. 18 This Forest preserved the 
memory of the Malbancs ; and their personal influence 
lasted long in the neighbourhood through the Abbey of 
Combermere which they founded in 1 1 33 and to which 
Gateham, close to Beresford, and Newton, only a few 
miles away, were given as Granges. But the Malbanc 
Barony itself endured but a short time. In 1220 it 
was divided among three sisters, co-heiresses, who thus 
held Alstonfield in co-parceny, and by their marriages 
introduced the De Verduns of Alton, the De Audleys, 
and perhaps the Le Despencers, into an immediate con- 
nection with the Beresfords which lasted throughout the 
Middle Ages. 

13 William Harrison in Hollinsheacfs Chronicle says "Of Woods and Marshes," 
(1577, Book II., chap. 16). "There was great store of woods in old time in 
Lincolnshire. The hills called Peak were in like sort named Mennith and Orcoit, 
that is wood hills and forest. But how much wood is now to he seen in those 
places let him that hath been there testify if he list. For I hear of no such store 
there as has been in time past by those that travel that way." — E.A.B. 

Bcvesforb of Beresforb, 

Arms : Argent, three bears rampant, sable, muzzled or. (page 78.) 
Crest : A bear's paw. (pag e 78.) 

John de Beresford, Lord of Beresford. 1087. {pages 7 lo 13.) = 

Hugh de Bevtrtsjorde. (p. I3-H 

Aden de Bevtrtsjorde, c. 1 150. (pp. 13, 15.) 

John de Beveres/ordt, 

Hugh de, 1228. (pp. 13, 24.49. 105.)= 

John de Beveiesforde, 1275. (pp, 

Aden de Beresforde, 1322. {Chapters IV. and V.)=] 

John de Beresforde, 1310-1349. (pp. 36-42.) = Emma. (p. 43.) 

William de Beveresford of Leek. {p. 21, 49.) = 

Robert of Leek. {p. 50^ 

John de Beresforde, 1361. (pp. 43, 51 . ) = Ceci1ia, living 1407, 

John de Beresford, 1411. (p 52.) = Elizabeth, dau. of W. Basset, {p. 55.) 

Aden de Beresford, 1411. {p. 53. J 

John Beresford, 1422. {p. 59.) = Elizabeth, dau. of Robert Davenport of Bramhall. (p. 63.) 

John Beresford of Enstone and Beresford, 1499. (p. 65.) = Elizabeth Erdeswick of Sandon. (p. 65.) 

THOMAS of Newton Grange, = Agncs Hassall, ob. 1467. 
Founder of Irish, Fenny Benlley, 

Alstonfield, Dale, Newton Grange, 

Thomas, (p. 69.) 

Gateham Grange Branch. 

Elyn. (p. 72.) — Anthony Beresford. 
Parwich Branch. 

3.) (p. 75. 8s 

Olive, (p. 80, 8i.} = Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston, Knt., M.P. (p. 79, 83, 84.) 

Olive, (p. 84). = Cbarles Cotton, Esq. (p. 84), 

Mary, Widow of Wingfield, Earl of Ardglass. {p. ioo.) = Charles Cotton, Poet and Angler. |p. 86 lo end. )= Isabella Hulchinsi 

(pp. 102, 103.) 

I I I 

(p. 77) 


Graces of tbe BeresforDs of Iflorman Gimes. 

O antiquary more eminent than Thomas Blore 
has ever turned attention to the history of 
Derbyshire and the adjacent Staffordshire Moor- 
lands ; and both in the Pedigree he drew up for Francis 
Beresford of Ashbourne at the close of the eighteenth 
century, and in the odd volume of his Collections, viz., 
Vol. VI., now in the Salt Library, he asserts the actual 
existence of John de Beresford as lord of Beresford 
in 1087 and in the pedigree he quotes Degge as 
supporting it. But unhappily the Fourth Volume of 
" Collections," that to which he refers us, is not yet to 
be found. Neither can we find a positive mention in any 
chronicle or roll of the immediate descendants which 
Blore gives to John. Yet we think that traces of such 
names remain. Let us notice them here. 

In August, 1794, Thomas Blore, wrote thus of the 
earlier descents of the Beresford Pedigree. "The first des- 
cents .... in the pedigree which was produced to me by 
Francis Beresford of Ashburne, gent, are : John de Beres- 
ford, temp. W. Rufus, Hugh de Beresford [contemporary 
with] William de Beresford, then Aden de Beresford, 
John de Beresford and Hugh de Beresford, etc. But that 
pedigree having been made so late as 1745 and not being 
authenticated by any signature, I believe the descents as I 
have set them down in this pedigree to be more correct, 

14 Beresford of Beresford. 

being according and agreeable to the authority of Sir 
Simon Degge, Knt, a lawyer who was Recorder of 
Derby immediately after the Restoration of King Charles 
II., and who was besides a diligent antiquary, and had 
bestowed great pains in the collection of the History of 
Staffordshire Families and had seen many ancient deeds 
of the Beresfords." 14 Beresford Hall in Degge's time was 
standing, and no sale had yet dispersed its ancient con- 
tents The only difference, however, which Blore makes 
in the old pedigree, is to reduce the William named to 
be brother to the second, instead of the first Hugh de 
Beresford. And Blore adds with respect to the Deed of 
Oct. 1087, " Contemporary with the first named John de 
Beresford and a witness to one of his deeds was 
Christopher de Beresford, senior. . . . ( Vide Collections 
in my possession, vol. 4, p. 66, formerly made by 
Brailsford, and afterwards in the hands of Bassano) but 
how Christopher was related to John does not appear." 
Two volumes which are considered to be Bassano's are 
in the Salt Library, and we have often consulted them 
and have taken much previously unknown information from 
them, but they do not fit in with Blore's reference to 
"Vol. IV., p 66," though they support his statements. 
After John, 1087, Blore places Hugh and after 
Hugh, Aden or Adam, who would live about the year 
1 1 50. Turning to the Records of the County, for which 
Gen. the Honourable George Wrottesley has done so 

14 M.S. Pedigree pi?its the Senior Branch of the Beresfords. For a splendid 
copy of this pedigree and many suggestions we are indebted to the Rev. Edward Aden 
Beresford, Rector of Hoby. Sir Simon's grandmother was a sister of John Bagnall, 
nephew of Sir Ralph Bagnall, which John married Agnes Beresford at Alstonfield, 
1584. She was a daughter of Richard Beresford. 

Early Beresfords known by other Names. 15 

much, we find that about this date, 11 50, an Adam 
lived in the Moorlands whose descendants, Robert Fitz- 
Adam, owned estates in Waterfall, Butterton, and 
Grindon. Robert left five daughters — 1. Eda, who 
married Robert de Castern, a sub-tenant of Sir Hu^h 


de Okeover, at Castern in Ham. She left a son William. 
2. Mary, wife of Turgist de Ham. 3. Margery, first 
married to Richard eldest son of Ralph de Okeover, half 
brother of Sir Hugh de Okeover, and secondly to Sir 
Roger Putrel, a Derbyshire Knight. 4. Hawyse, mar- 
ried first to William de Butterton by whom she had a 
son William, and then to Nicholas de Winster, and 5. 
Ingryda married to William de Wrottesley, whose sub- 
sequent descent has been most fully traced by General the 
Hon. George Wrottesley in the admirable family history 15 
from which these names are taken. Famous law suits fol- 
lowed these marriages, one of which unfortunately brought 
the fair Hawyse to plead in person before King John ; 
and a jury was empannelled in connection with the 
suits on which the Cheddleton, the Audley, the Ferrars, 
the Ipstones, the Blore, Phillip Fitz-Bishop and other 
neighbours and contemporaries of the Beresfords appear, 
but no Beresford. The conclusion is almost irresistible 
that the Fitz-Adams themselves were really Beresfords, 
and Robert Fitz-Adam the son of the first Adam Beres- 
ford, — a conclusion strengthened by several facts. Butter 
ton, Wetton, and Waterfall lie together near Beresford. 
These places, like Beresford, are omitted from Domesday 
book — possibly for the reason which omitted Tamworth 

15 History of the Family of Wrottesley of Wrottesley, Co. Staffs., p. 25. 

16 Beresford of Beresford. 

namely that they owned Le Despencer as their overlord. 
The Beresfords for centuries later had lands in all these 
places, the inheritance of Adam being perhaps then only 
divided. And lastly, no Beresford appears on the jury 
who investigated the case. 

The oldest deeds preserved by the Beresfords, which 
have actually come down to our day, carry us back to 
this period, 1087- 1240, and although they do not 
directly refer to the family, they touch on some of the 
actors in the Fitz-Adams suits. Deed, D. 53, (Drury 
Collection) is of King John's time. It testifies that 
Roger, son of Henry, gave to Nicholas Mestlinc half a 
virgate of land in Haletuna (Haughton) which William 
le Brseur (Brewer) held with six acres of the gift of 
Robert de Elias and Thomas Noel. The witnesses are 
Robert de Elias, Rob. fil Nicolai, Nicolas fil henri, 
filipp fil epc, Ricard. briton, Ricard. his son, Johanes de 
Wulleveston, Rob. fil hamun, Ricardus de Bensac, Suem 
fil. eve, Rob. Mestlinc and many others — well known 
characters in West Staffordshire. Thomas Noel died 
1206. 16 Robert Fitz Elias married an heiress of the 
Caverswalls. 17 Robert, son of Hamon, was one of the 
Baron of Stafford's Knights. 18 Richard Peche, Bishop 
of Lichfield, dying in 1126 left a son, Richard, who 
had been for thirty-five years Archdeacon of Coventry, 
and was afterwards Bishop of Lichfield, 1161-1182. 
Philip (de Burgo), " son of the Bishop," witnesses in 
1 194-5 a gi^ °f Hervey Bagot to Thomas Noel, 19 and was 

16 H. S. C, IV., 271. 17 H. S. C, IV., 280. 18 II. S. C, II., 248. 
19 H. S. C, II. 266. IV. 268. Brough is in Ranton ; Ranton Priory was founded 
on the old episcopal property by Celestria, wife of Robert Fitz Noel, and daughter of 
Robert de Limesi, Bishop of Lichfield, 1088-1117. H. S. C, IV., 264, 265. 

Traces of Hugh de Beresford, — 1227-8. 17 

one of the jurors in the famous lawsuit brought by 
Hawyse, one of Fitz-Adam's daughters, in the reign of 
King John. 

Another ancient deed (D. 45) preserved by the 
Beresfords witnesses that a church, which was afterwards 
destroyed, existed at Clifton, near Ashbourne, apparently 
under the charge of Philip the Priest, about the same 
date, 1 1 90- 1 200. 

Remembering that surnames were not yet fixed, 
and that Hugh of Beresford or Beveresford in the days 
of King John would just as probably be called Hugh 
of Alstonfield ; remembering also that the Beresfords 
were hereditary custodians of Malbanc Forest, we read 
the following with the greater interest. 

Philippa, Countess of Warwick, the eldest daughter 
of the last Baron of Malbanc, had rights of her own 
in the district over and above her share in co-parceny. 
In 1228 the Plea Rolls record "an Assize to ascertain 
whether Henry de Aldithelegh and Hugh le Despencer 
had disseized Philippa Malbanc of common of pasture 
in Alstanleigh." Henry and Hugh admitted that Philippa 
and her heirs were entitled to all the issues and profits 
arising- from one-third of the forest of Alstanesfeld and 
they further agreed to pull down the fence they had 
erected at Querneford in the same forest ; and Henry and 
Hugh and Philippa agreed that an enquiry should take 
place as to whether a certain place called Querneford 
which Hugh had enclosed had been a park in defenso 
in the time of Peter the Clerk of Chester or was open 
pasture. 20 

20 11. s. c, IV., 64. 

1 8 Beresford of Beresford. 

This was nearly one hundred years before the climax 
of the Le Despencers' fortunes in the reign of Edward 
II., but it shews them growing 21 

A suit of the previous year, 1227, seems to show 
that the Beresford of the time, Hugh de Beresford, 22 who 
was living in 1249, was then acting for Philippa de 
Malbanc. The record is that Philippa attorned in her 
place Hugh de Alstilfield (Hugh of Alstonfield) and 
Robert le Boleneis in a plea of novel disseizin between 
Philippa, plaintiff, and Henry de Aldithelegh and Hugh 
Dispensator, deforciants, and likewise in the plea between 
the same Philippa and the Abbot of Combermere respect- 
ing a messuage in Hastilfield (Alstonfield). 23 There is 
absolutely nothing to show that this Hugh de Alston- 
field was not really the Hugh de Beresford of Blore's 
Pedigree and the Okeover documents. 

The Audleys came into possession of two-thirds of 
a third of Alstonfield in co-parceny by grant from or 
marriage with one of the daughters of the last Baron 
de Malbanc. But how the Le Despencers obtained 
another third is not so clear. Philippa forfeited her 
third to the Earls of Chester, sometime after she became 
Countess of Warwick. 24 The Earl held it himself awhile 
and then seems to have given it to his hereditary 
Dispensator, Hugh le Despencer, who had already a 
share of the manor and property at Waterfall and Den- 
stone. But the above suits shew that Philippa did not 

21 Round's Studies, p. 303. 22 Three Deeds named in D 98. 

23 H. C. S., IV., 52. 

24 Ormerod's Cheshire, Vol. III., 423, new edition. 





Malbanc Forest and the Bear's Ford. 19 

readily consent to lose her share of her father's patri- 
mony. They shew also that the Le Despencers were 
trying to disposses Philippa before her lands were 
forfeited. Who shall say that they did not procure the 
forfeit? They certainly profited by it. 

This mention of the possession of Quarnford by 
Philippa Malbanc coupled with the tradition that Malbanc 
Forest lay in the wild land near the Royal Cottage, 
seems to show that the third of the forest of Alston- 
field, which the Le Despencers got hold of, was the tract 
of moorlands stretching westwards and north-westwards 
from Beresford as far as the eye of anyone standing on 
the watch tower there could reach. This tract, became 
known as "High Frith and Basford" The tendency 
was to shorten the latter name, first from Beveresford 
to Beresford, and then, colloquially, to Basford. The 
family seem not only to have dropped the remembrance 
of the Beaver out of their name, and to have written 
it " Beresford " in the period we are approaching, but 
also to have taken Beresford to signify the Bear's ford. 
When we first get a glimpse of the family arms, three 
bears are upon them. 

Colonel G. W. Beresford suggests that the ford may 
have been a much more important crossing of the Dove 
when rocks and trees, fallen from the densely wooded 
and soaring cliffs, dammed the river and made frequent 
pools. Deep water doubtless backed up to, and lay 
black and eddying at the foot of Beresford Castle-rock. 
But more than this. The place was a worthy "ford," 
because a series of ancient tracks or forest roads here 
passed the Dove towards the opening in the cliffs near 

20 Beresford of Beresford. 

Wolfscote ; whilst the " fords " a little above were blocked 
by Harrington and Pilsbury Castle, and below by the 
camp on the south side of Hanson Gorge. The other 
"passes" over the Dove Valley were only painfully 
passable as far south as Thorpe. 

We now emerge from the realm of probable con- 
jecture in which from the earliest days the long-headed, 
lively, dark complexioned guardians of Beresford Rock 
hunted and watched the forest, first for themselves ; then 
for noble Saxon lords ; 25 and then for their incoming 
Norman masters ; holding still the foresterships until the 
land was disafforested in the time of Charles I. Their 
guardianship of the district tied the lord of Beresford to 
the spot, but as we shall see, his outlook was a wide 
one, his local knowledge valuable, and his influence 
great. His sons were sent to the wars, though he him- 
self had to stay at home. And throughout the whole 
period he was not only quasi-sergeant of the forest and 
guardian of the chief passes of the Dove — a position 
in which he seems to have been confirmed in the 
reformation of Mid-England by King Canute,— but lord 
also of the manor of Beresford, whether known as 
Beversford or Beresford. 

25 Godwin, whom Domesday records as Lord of Alstonfield before the Conquest, 
was the most powerful noble of his time and ranked— says Green in his Conquest, 
p. 427,— first of English Nobles. His possessions and duties on both the Dove and 
the Churnet, i.e., both in Alstonfield and Cheddleton, passed en bloc to the Malbancs ; 
and hence, perhaps, the connection in the middle ages between the De Cheddletons 
and De Beresfords. The site of Cheddleton Hall towers above the Churnet, as 
Beresford rock does above the Dove. 


Bctual IRecorfcs. 

R. HORACE ROUND tells us in the last 
quarterly Ancestor, that of January, 1905, that 
"the earliest member of the Beresford family 
yet discovered is, in General Wrottesley's opinion, John 
de Beveresford who attests an Okeover document not 
later than 1241." In this document a bovate of land at 
Shene is resigned into the hands of Robert de Okeover, — 
William de Ipstanes, William Meverell and John de 
Beveresford being witnesses. 1 But the document may 
be as early as 1220, and the John de Beveresford be 
identical with the John de Beresford whom Blore's 
pedigree places third after the supposed John of 1087. 
To this John of 1220 Blore gives two sons — Hugh who 
was, he says, lord of Beresford in 1249, and William 
whose name appears on a jury of Edward I.'s — (Plea 
Rolls, H.S.C. VI., 256. He had a daughter, Juliana.) 
A Hugh de Beveresford is mentioned with William de 
lpstones, William Meverell of Throwley, William de 
Butterdun, etc., as a witness to a deed of Hugh son 
of Robert de Okeover (1 220-1 240) which Hugh de 
Okeover remained faithful in 1263-7 to the king during 

1 II. S. C, n. s. VII., 155. Okeover documents. Other witnesses were :— Henry 
de Denston, Richard de Draycote, Henry de Hum, Robert de Casterne, Adam de 
Rust (Rnshlon), Roger de Woodhouse and others. 

22 Beresford of Beresford. 

the Montfort rebellion. 2 The same Hugh de Beveres- 
ford appears again with William de Cheddleton and 
William de Ipstones in another deed of Hugh de 
Okeover. 3 But in 1275 a second John de Beveresford 
appears, — all agreeing with the names set down in the 
earliest stages of the pedigree by Blore. And the latter 
record — that of 1275 — is so full of information as to the 
condition of the Moorlands then that we may notice it 
more fully. It shows the young English Justinian setting 
to work. 

The Inquisition was, by command of King Edward I. 
in the third year of his reign, taken by. Sir Richard 
de Fokeram and Osbert de Berescote with the help of a 
jury of the Hundred of Totmonslow The jurors, — 
squires of the district, — were : — 

Sir Philip de Draycote 

Roger de Verney 

Richard de Acovere 

Henry de Casterne 

Benedict de Botertone 

John de Beveresfort in Verselowe 

Symon Basset 

William Meverel in Ylum 

Walter le Mareschal in Fenton 

Richard de Stoke in Leye 

Robert de Acovere in Denston 

Robert de Chetelton 

Robert de Gretewis 

Richard de Rodeyert 
After giving facts about Uttoxeter, Loxley and some. 

2 H. S. C, VII, N. s., 141 and iS. 3 Ibid, 147. 

Edward I. investigates the Moorlands, — 1275. 23 

other places, they tell the keen young King that Alton was 
held of the King in capite by one Knight's fee, and that 
Henry de Audley held Audley and Endon of the same 
manor as a Knight's fee. . . . The Abbot of Deulacres 
held the manor of Leek of the King in capite and it 
used to be of the liberty of Chester. The Abbey of 
Hulton held Mixon and it used to be held in fee farm 
by service of five shillings, a cartload of hay and an iron 
fork paid to the manor of Penkhull. They say that 

William de Caverswall farmed the Hundred of Totmonslow 
by paying £10 yearly to the King. The Barons of 
Alstanesfelt, viz. : Henry de Audley and his co-parceners 
gave a mark annually to the Sheriff for view of frank 
pledge, and the Sheriff was accustomed to hold a court 
there annually or receive a fine and it was first with- 
held in the time of Hugh le Despencer. Henry de 
Audley, Hugh le Despencer and Warine de Vernun had 
gallows (at Alstonfield) but it was not known by what 
warrant. The Abbot of Deulacres, Henry de Audley, 
and the Lord of Alton had Sergeanties and took by 
force and unjustly passagium, passage money, from per- 
sons passing through their lands. Verdun had enclosed 
free chases, and the Sheriff of the County took money 
to conceal offences. William Rome, Bailiff of Henry 
de Audley, had his brother in his house at Alstonfield, 
who was a felon and an outlaw. John Bareil hid 
Robert Oviet for a mark, and Robert Bente for forty 
shillings. The sheriffs and sub-sheriffs took bribes to 

admit offenders to bail Henry the Rector of the 

church of Blore, the Bailiff of Henry de Audley in 
Alstonfield, took ten shillings from William de Narrow- 

24 Beresford of Beresford. 

dale. . . . and the Bailiff of Verdun at Alton took six 
oxen and cows from Richard de Ruddeyert and retained 
four of them, and for giving up two took a mark. And 
the Coroners were equally corrupt, exacting two shillings 
at an inquest. 4 

This Inquisition is interesting as shewing the Beres- 
ford of the time at work on public business of the 
highest local importance in the company of several of the 
families descended from the Fitz-Adams of Waterfall. Le 
Despencer is now established as joint lord of Alstonfield. 
Neither the List (D. 98) of Deeds formerly preserved 
at Beresford nor Blore's Pedigree mentions this John, 
but he occurs on what is called " Dick Levinge's 
Pedigree," and that drawn up by Lodge, between Hugo 
of 1249 and Aden of 1296. 

A Huo-h de Beveresford occurs in a deed of 1274 
in the Rideware Chartulary. 5 The witnesses to a trans- 
ference of some land at Hartington are, among others: — 
Stephen de Ireton Roger de Merche 

John de Kent Wm, de Iveley 

William son of Bruno Ralph his Brother 
Ralph son of Henry de Henry son of Thomas of 

Alsop Alsop 

Huo-o de Beveresford John de Bostanes (Bostern 

Helyas de Heecham near Hanson Grange) 

Sampson the Cleric (of Ashburne), etc. 

4 H. S. C, Vol. V. pt. i, 119-121. 

5 II. S. C, Vol. XVI., p. 275. Amongst the Okeover Deeds Hugo de 
Beresford witnesses a deed of Rober Acour ; Hugo de Beveresford a grant by Hugo 
de Acour to Rich, de Svvynscoe and Cecilia his wife, as he docs another deed 
between the same parties.— Col. W. II. Fitz-Herbert. 


Hfcen £>e Beresforfc— anyious E>a\>s. 

E now come to notice the brief records of the 
man who first adopted the modern spelling of 
the name, one indeed who was the most im- 
portant member of the family in the middle ages. He 
is twice mentioned on the List of Deeds (D98) thus : — 
"16 E. II, 1322, Aden de Beresford," and again "17 
E. II. 1323, Aden de Beresford, Dom de Beresford." 
These deeds might perhaps show us how he steered his 
course through the terrible commotions of the year 1321 
and following years, when the Barons were seeking the 
destruction of the Le Despencers. Then probably fire 
and sword made Malbanc Forest more desolate than it 
had been ; and to this day the track of the Barons is a 
waste howling wilderness. What did the chief forester 
do? How did he comport himself during the deadly 
feud between Le Despencer and Audley, two of the co- 
parceners of the overlordship of his little manor ? The 
Le Despencers, as Justices of the Forest, had banished 
the Countess of Warwick from Malbanc Forest ; it was 
one of the final accusations against them that they tried 
to obtain for themselves the property of the Audleys in 
Alstonfield. The position of Aden de Beresford, who 
held under both, must have been a difficult one. But 
he does not appear to have hid himself. 

Looking back we find him steadily employed in the 

26 Beresford of Beresford. 

public service. Aden succeeded John before 1301, the 
twenty-ninth year of Edward I. ; and curiously the first 
notice of him records him as a member of a jury in 
default. 1 Richard de Caverswall had been thrown into 
prison on a suit against the Lord of Alton, one of the 
co-parceners of Alstonfield, and others ; and the following- 
jury, perhaps prudently, failed to appear : — 

William de Beysin Michael de Morton 

Richard de Doxey Walter de Morton 

Ralph de Botiler Richard de Brynton 

Henry Fitz Herberd Thomas le Forester 

Richard de Sandbache Richard de Levynton 

William de Wrottesley Henry de Wyverston 

Reginald de Charnes William Wycht of Cotes 

Stephen de Oakley Adam de Bereford 

Adam de Chedle William Bagenholt 

Here, for the first time, we find Fitzherbert, Bagnal 
and Beresford together. 

Six years later, namely in 1307, the jury for the 
Hundred of Totmonslow (H. S. C, VII., 172) is 
William Wyther John de Prestwode 

John de Castern Henry Onweyn 

Richard de Kavereswalle William de la Blakeleye 
John de Ipstones Robert de Bradeheved 

Wm, son of Robert de Kavereswalle 
Ithelus de Wariner Ralph Basset 

Adam de Beveresford 

Many of these were descendants of the families 

1 H. S. C. VII., 96. Assize Roll 30 Ed., m. 52. A William de Beveresford 
appears on a List of a Jury for the Hundred of Totmonslow, temp. Ed. I. — Plea 
Roll, 21 Ed. I., H. S. C. VI., pt. 1, 256. 

The Moorlands in 1223. 27 

whom we have noticed in supposed connection with the 
Beresfords ever since the Conquest, and this is the last 
notice of the family as Beveresfords. 

In the crisis of the Le Despencer's fortunes, Adam, 
as he was called in public records, or rather Aden, as 
he was known at home, de Beresford was summoned to 
the Court at Tutbury with his faithful henchman and 
sub-taxer (of Alstonfield) William Maycock, — in whose 
family by the way the name Aden or Addin is used to 
this day — to account with every other taxer of the county 
for default in collecting. They were fined two marks, 
and Okeovere, Stafford, Leveson, Chetwynd and others 
shared the same fate. And at this time, 1323, Adam and 
William de Beresford 2 — Beveresford no longer, — Okeovere, 
Cavers wall, etc., beg to be admitted to a fine for failing 
to collect as much as they ought to have done from 
the people. They say that the times are bad ; but the 
fact is that the King and the Le Despencers are most 
unpopular, and the Earl of Lancaster's influence is 
strong in the Moorlands. They agree to pay, or per- 
haps rather to owe, 340 marks to the King. (H. S. C. 
IX., 95.) A few days later there is a keen enquiry 
after the goods left behind or flung away by the van- 
quished Earl of Lancaster in his flight from Burton 
Bridge. The jurors are again at Tutbury and very 
exciting is their story, but we can quote only one or 
two illustrative statements from it. The jury of Offlow 
and Totmonslow presented that an outrage had been 

2 William tie Beveresford, who now also spelt his name as Beresford, lived at 
Broncote on the western side of Malbanc Forest, as shown by a deed of the Kud- 
yerds, on a hill overlooking a great length of the road from Leek towards Buxton. 

28 Beresford of Beresford. 

done to the Audleys : — that seven cartloads of gold cloth 
and silver vessels and ornaments of the chapel, worth 
/300 were taken from Helegh Castle by order of Peter 
de Lymesey to the Priory of Tutbury. The Prior 
declared that the carts never came to the Priory. " The 
fact was," he said, " that the Countess of Lincoln had 
called at the Priory on the vigil of the Epiphany, 
1322, with her household for shelter and hospitality, and 
and remained there two days, departing on the third 
with all her stuff complete as she came. The carts in 
question went to Tutbury Castle not to the Priory." 

The jury also accused the Abbot of Burton that 
after the flight of the Earl of Lancaster from the Battle 
of Burton Bridge, he had seized the Earl's money and 
goods to the value of ,£200. The Abbot said he had 
had next to nothing of all this but a silver cup, and 
had given that up to the King. But the jury stated 
otherwise, and the Abbot was charged with concealing 
^300. (H. S. C. IX. 97-) 

Perhaps the rich find of coins in 1831 in the bed 
of the Dove, hard by Tutbury, may help to exculpate 
the poor Abbot. It seems clear that there was a great 
scramble for the contents of Tutbury Castle as soon as 
the Earl had fled from the neighbourhood, and that 
Lancastrian Abbots and Priors were not much in favour 
with King Edward II. 

An idea of the confusions of the time may be gath- 
ered from a statement made in 17 Edward II., 1324, 
by the Jury of the Hundred of Totmonslow. They say 
that Robert de Madele and many others of the house- 
hold of Thomas Furnival, Junr., of Alton Castle, entered 

Brief Triumph of the Le Despencers. 29 

vi et armis the granges of John Kynardesle (Kynnersley) 
and Nicholas de Hungerford and took a hundred shillings 
worth of corn from them, and corn from Thomas Broun 
of Alton to the value of ten marks ; and Furnival took 
by force from Thomas Moeverel of Throwley sixteen 
pigs worth sixteen shillings, and two oxen worth twenty 
shillings ; and the same Thomas de Furnival, with others 
armed, had taken goods from the house of William de 
Stafford and six horses and victuals to the value of twenty 
pounds and carried them to Alton Castle. Thomas, how- 
ever, appeared and said he had collected a force for the 
King, and they it was who had taken Kynnersley 's 
goods. (H. S. C, X., 53.) 

At the moment to which these records refer, the 
King and the Le Despencers were triumphing. Lancaster, 
the people's champion, had fled from the Moorlands, 
scattering valuables as he went. A horse-load of jewelry 
and other valuables had been picked up at Rocester. 
The Earl hasted away to Pontefract and fell at Borough 

But the tide was about to turn. The Beresford 
documents of 1322 and 1323, if accessible, might throw 
light on the place in those years. We have noted that 
one of the accusations against the Le Despencers, 
when in 1327 their fate finally overtook them, was that 
they had tried to dispossess the Audleys of their share 
in Alstonfield. We have seen above how they had 
succeeded with the Malbancs. Greed of wealth and 
pride of power became their ruin. But Nemesis was 
dogging them, from whom there was no escape. 

Not a baron in England had been more respected 

•jo Beresford of Beresford. 

than the elder Hugh le Despencer. The jury of 1275 
had less to say against him than against any other local 
noble. The foolish partiality of King Edward II. for 
his son, the younger Le Despencer, was the cause of 
the bitter hatred which sprang up towards the family. 
And here a gleam of local light may fall on national 
history. Lancaster recommended the younger Le Des- 
pencer to Edward II. because Edward hated him — say 
the historians. But the Inquisitiones post mortem seem 
rather to shew that the Le Despencers were the vassals 
of the royal house of Lancaster. 

All our Moorlands then were beginning to owe more 
or less of suit and service to Tutbury. The great 
castle dominated all the Dove. And the same cause, 
operating through Malbanc Forest, which the Beresfords 
held under Le Despencer, may have given Aden de 
Beresford some of his power with the King. For 
power he had, as we may now see. 

Where the family records fail us, the public rolls 
supply the deficiency. In the Plea Rolls of 1324 we 
have William de Cheddleton arraigned as a common 
malefactor and disturber of the peace, and a maintainer 
of false quarrels, and that he collected unknown male- 
factors and rode armed about the country to the terror 
of the people, and he was of the society of James and 
John sons of William de Stafford and had insulted the 
Abbot of Deulacres three years before, so that the 
Abbot dared not leave the doors of his monastery. 
Moreover the said William with some others had entered 
the park of Thomas de Furnival of Alton and had taken 
one of his beasts. (H. S. C, X. 50.) 

Aden de Beresford and his Neighbours. 31 

This was no doubt a political quarrel. William de 
Cheddleton was a most turbulent subject during the reign 
of Edward II. but one of the best in the reign of 
Edward III.— a better king. When he was now 
arraigned for his outbreak he was committed to prison 
until Vivian de Standon, William de Chetwynde, John 
de Ipstones, James son of William de Stafford, and 
Adam de Beresford came and paid his fine, and were 
sureties for his good behaviour even to the extent of 
risking all they had. And a great risk it was. For 
Cheddleton soon broke out again. The very next year 
he headed a band consisting of his brothers, with Thomas 
son of Ralph de Rudyerd, and others, and beat William 
Maunche, the servant of the Abbot of Deulacres, at 
Leek. (H. S. C, X. 51.) And again Adam de Beres- 
ford, William de Beresford, and two others, rescue him 
by becoming sureties. 

About the year 1324, a famous quarrel broke out 
between the lord of Ipstones and "the lady of Ingestre " 
with regard to the advowson of Church Eaton, near 
Stafford. Both church and manor-house there were 
beseiged, and some blood was shed. The county was 
divided into two hostile camps ; but the culprits, on 
being brought to trial, were told that they might escape 
prison if they could find persons of "sufficient" weight 
to bail them out. Adam de Beresford, amongst others, 
performed this good office, for Isabella, the lady of 
Ingestre, together with several who were implicated 
among whom are sundry Astons, Rudyerds, Cheddletons, and 
Chetwyndes, with Peter le Barbour, Stephen de Beghtirton, 
John le Mercer with one eye, etc. (H. S. C, X., 72, 73, 74.) 

j2 Beresford of Beresford. 

With Vivian de Standon, William dc Chetwynd, 
John de Ipstones, and James, son of William de Stafford, 
Adam de Beresford is bail for James de Stafford, 
accused and pardoned for the death of a Swynnerton. 
(H. S. C, VII., 23.) 

Often indeed Aden de Beresford rescued others but 
happily never needed rescue himself! His prudent 
character must be recognised Whatever influence he 
had with the authorities may have been gained by the 
way in which his public duties were discharged. So 
through that most troubled time he pursued the even 
tenour of his way. " Blessed are the peacemakers." 

Perhaps in passing, we should note the reconcilation 
effected between the King and Thomas, Earl of Lan- 
caster, in 13 18; some small share in which, it is just 
possible, Aden de Beresford may have taken. The 
chronicler of Croxden, our chief North Staffordshire 
mediaeval historian, puts the reconcilation at Leek ; and 
whilst it is certain that the Earl of Lancaster then made 
great use of the fleur de lys on his armorial bearings, 
it is equally remarkable that on the earliest existing 
carved shield of the Beresfords, rescued from neglect 
and given by the present writer to Bentley church, the 
flower of France occupies the second quarter — perhaps 
in allusion to this time. The Leek mentioned by 
the Croxden historian must have been near Lough- 
borough ; but the chronicler may have known of some 
Moorlands association. Moreover, the castle of Harting- 
ton, which then belonged to the Earl of Lancas- 
ter, was within sight and sound of Beresford tower, 
and Aden de Beresford was, as we have seen, 

fbvrufird <fbrm4 

A Jacobean Sculpture found in fragments at 
Fenny Bentley Tower by the Writer in 1879, 
and given to Bentley Church in 1892. The 
former owner had purchased it at the sale of 
the late Mr. Lucas's effects at Fenny Bentley New 
Hall. The crest is a fragment of the Bear's 
Paw. The stone used is smooth and hard and 
beautifully cut. It was pieced together and 
framed by the Writer whilst Vicar of S. Chad's, 
Stafford. The Bear's Paw was used by Sampson 
Beresford, oh. 1593, but was apparently then 
abandoned for the Dragon's Head Crest. 

Treasure trove near Beresford. 


frequently at Tutbury, Lancaster's head -quarters on the 

It may be worth mention also that after the great 
find of coins at Tutbury in 1831, when Thomas, Earl 
of Lancaster's, treasure was discovered in the bed of the 
Dove, a find of similar mediaeval silver pennies was 
also made in 1867 at Boosley Grange, in Malbanc forest, 
and within an easy walk of Beresford. These coins 
were investigated by the present writer at the time, and 
some of them compared with the wood-blocks of the 
Tutbury coins which came into his possession a little 
later, and of which we print a few specimens here. 

The Boosley coins were found whilst a field at Boosley 
was being dug over, and they vividly show that the 


24 Beresford of Beresford. 

unrest of those sad times extended into the Moorlands. 
This could not be otherwise ; Hartington Castle, in the 
days of Henry III, belonged to Ferrers, Earl of Derby. 
"Robert, Earl Ferrers, was presented in 1285," says 
Dr Cox in the Victoria History of Derby, " for having 
in 1264 with a great company of knights and others, 
hunted in the Campana Forest on 7 July, and taken 
forty head of deer and driven away another forty out 
of the forest ; and on 1 August took fifty and drove 
away about seventy ; and again on 29th September took 
forty and drove away a like number. This hunting was 
planned on a wholesale scale ; for thirty-eight (accom- 
plices) were named in the presentment, and there were 
many others, as well as the Earl himself, who were 
dead before the Eyre was held (in 1285). . . It was in 
1264, in the very thick of the baronial civil war. . . 
On 12 May was fought the battle of Lewes, when the 
King's forces under Prince Edward were defeated by 
those of the barons. For two or three years after that 
date, as an old chronicler has it, ' there was grievous 
perturbation in the centre of the realm.' . . The three 
incursions made into the Peake forest in July, August, 
and September, following the battle of Lewes, were 
undertaken by Robert Ferrers and his allies (issuing 
from his great manor house at Hartington) much more 
to show contempt for the King and to get booty, than 
for any purpose of sport." 

But the Earl's disloyalty cost him his Castle of 
Hartington which was forfeited to the Crown and 
bestowed upon the Earl of Lancaster. Peace, however, 
did not therefore return to this troubled district, as we 

Aden de Beresford' s Taxes. 35 

have seen ; and during the fierce struggle between 
Edward II. and his cousin of Lancaster, when the latter 
fled from Burton Bridge, Hartington Castle would be 
taken en route by the unlucky Earl Thomas in his 
flight up the Valley of the Dove. Still later, the 
possessions of the Le Despencers were added to those 
of the Earls of Lancaster. Both sides of the Dove thus 
came under the same supreme Lord ; and then one of 
the great duties of the Beresfords— that of keeping open 
the fords on the Dove— would fall into abeyance. 

But we must now return to Beresford itself. 

In 1327 Aden appears on the Subsidy Roll as pay- 
ing vj.s. towards the cost of the Scotch War, and is 
followed next on the list by William Moykoc (Mycock) 
who pays iiij.s. (H. S. C, VII., 218.) 

And for a similar purpose in 1333, he paid vij.s. iv.d., 
a larger sum than anybody else in the district except a 
neighbour of his own, John Falle-in-the-Wall, who paid 
the same. The latter may have been a keen wool-stapler 
or have got the name by tumbling into a well. 
(H. S. C, X. pt. 1., 116.) 

The searching enquiries, made on the accession of 
Edward III. in 1327, revealed terrible irregularities on the 
part of the deceased Le Despencers, but Aden de 
Beresford came well out of them. The Patent Rolls 
(York, June 26, 1327, m. 9.) record only this against 
him, "that Richard, son of William Martin, had in the 
time of Edward I. acquired in fee without license a 
messuage and land in Nether Haddon from Robert 
Basset, tenant in chief, by the yearly service of six 
shillings and eightpence. Adam de Beresford and John 

36 Beresford of Beresford. 

Tailor had bought half these premises and were 
pardoned." 3 

The last events in Aden's life were of sinister 
promise for the welfare of his heir. The Plea Rolls 
De Banco, 1339, shew John le Porter of Caldlowe suing 
John, son of Adam de Beresford for a debt of ^"io, 
and the defendant not appearing. The debt looks un- 
commonly like a failure to make an attempt at mining 
pay, and as if Aden had refused to embark in a rash 
undertaking of his son's. (H. S. C, XL, 86.) 

It is not until the end of Aden's life that we become 
acquainted with the name of his wife, Beatrice. All 
circumstances point, to her being one of the StafTords of 
Sandon. 4 She was an heiress in fee of property in 
Alstonfield, and so were these StafTords. Her husband 
was a surety for Lady Stafford, for persons living near 
Sandon and Stone, and for the two Staifords who killed 
Alexander de Swynnerton. Henceforth a close link exists 
between the Staffords and the Beresfords. Beresford goes 
to live at Enstone, just over the Trent from Sandon ; 
and by Erdeswick's time Enstone had become " a great 
seat of the Beresfords." The young men of the two 
families go to the wars together ; Ralph de Stafford and 
Robert de Beresford having letters of protection to follow 
Hugh de Audley to Scotland in June, 1335. (H. S. C, 
VIIL, 54-) 

3 Aden once broke into the Miller's house at Grindon, but it was because the 
miller would not pay his rent. 

4 Isabella de Stafford of Ashburne conveys property there to Rob. de Clifton 
D 41), and in a deed belonging to Mr. J. H. White of London, Humph, de Stafford, 

Knt., attorns Ric. de Beresford and W. his son to give seizin of some lands in Hope. 
11, Hen. IV. 

Beatrice de Beresford. 37 

Altogether there seems some closer link of union 
than the fact that the Staffords were overlords of Narrow- 
dale lying in sight of Beresford. But as long as Aden 
lived he seems to have placed a veto on any lawsuit 
which might have arisen out of his wife's claims. As 
soon as he was dead, however, less peaceful counsels 
prevailed ; and the following record — which, by the way, 
confirms Blore's Pedigree in a remarkable way at this 
point — seems to show that Aden in his old age had to 
adopt very strong measures to restrain the spirit of his 
son. The Plea Rolls of 1341 state that Walter Folvylle 
sued John, son of Adam de Beresforde, and Adam and 
John, sons of the said John, Hugh, son of Adam de 
Beresford, and Thomas, brother of Hugh, John Balle 
of Werslowe, Giles Jones, servant, and Henry Kauwe, 
both of Beresford, and others for breaking into his close 
at Werslowe and cutting down trees and taking his 
goods and chattels to the value of roo shillings. They 
did not appear ; but next year the Sheriff returns that 
Folvylle appeared by attorney against John de Beresford, 
Beatrice de Beresford, John son of Adam de Beresford, 
Thomas, son of Adam de Beresford, and John Dovelot 
of Werslowe for this offence, and that John had been 
attached by Richard de Beresford and Adam de Beres- 
ford, and that Beatrice was dead, but she was not dead, 
and they were all to be arrested. (H. S. C, XIV., 57, 
XII., 17, 18.) 

In 1343 the Sheriff is ordered to enquire whether 
a messuage and eight acres of land in Alstonfield were 
free alms appurtenant to the Church of Combermere of 
which the Abbott was the parson, or the lay fee 

38 Beresford of Beresford. 

of Beatrice, formerly wife of Adam de Beresford, and 
of John de Beresford her son, 5 This suit reminds us 
of the earlier one of 1227 when Philippa de Malbanc 
had made the same or a similar claim and not only 
directly tells us whose widow Beatrice de Beresford was, 
but shows indirectly a connection between her and the 
Malbanc family, which most probably came through the 
Staffords. It is pleasant to think that for once John 
de Beresford may have been in the right ; for a house 
and eight acres of land appear again in our family 
records at a much later date. But in 1343 Aden is 
dead 6 

5 }?. S. C, XII., 12. This could hardly have been a claim for dower. See the 
case of 1 36 1 below. 

6 Before quitting this period, that during which the Staffords appear in connection 
with the Beresfords, we may note an interesting discovery of ancient terraces near 
Beresford but on Narrowdale Farm. They overlook the site of Beresford Hall, and are 
five or six in number, one above the other on the western slope of a spur of Gratton Hill, 
and are of pre-historic character. The fact that such terraces are generally found linked 
with a rock shelter, connects them rather with Beresford and its caves than with Narrow- 
dale where the Staffords held property. They lie on land attached to the Narrowdale 
"manor house" occupied down to comparatively recent days by a branch of the Rudyard 
family, but now swept away. These terraces have a water-supply of their own, and it 
is said that a cave exists in the hill just above them, but we have not yet had the oppor- 
tunity to examine it, having only noted the character of the spot when finding it, in 
company with Colonel G. W. Beresford, in the autumn of 1905. 

[We may now, Whitsuntide, 1906, add that the writer has visited the terraces again, 
and that he had the good fortune to meet there with Mr. Bonsall of Narrowdale, 
a neighbour of Mr. Adams who first pointed out the unusual character of the spot. 
Mr. Bonsall took the writer to the supposed cave ; but it can never have been 
occupied by other than foxes, wolves, or rabbits. An ancient cell, however, exists 
in the field, excavated in the hill and once roofed over. The terraced work goes 
up to the top of the hill, and a natural amphitheatre at the top was probably the 
scene of cock-fighting, since the terraced field is still "The Cock Piece," or "Cock 
Glade." Though sheltered from the winds, this amphitheatre commands a glorious 
view towards Malbanc Forest, and it may have been the chosen spot for many an 
athletic and soldierly contest in old times. On the day of the writer's visit, streams 


Zbc Hater fllMfcMe Boe : peace anfc Mar. 

JOHN DE BERESFORD, it is recorded, fought 
against the Scotch in 1310 1 and must therefore 
have been advanced in life before coming into 
his estate. In his early manhood he lived at Hartington. 
It would seem that Aden de Beresford, his father, became 
infirm before the year 1338. In that year an Inquisition 
Post Mortem, was taken as to the property of Sir Roger 
de Swynnerton, lately dead. This Inquisition throws so 
much light on the history of the Moorlands in connection 
with the Le Despencers that we transcribe it almost 
wholly from Canon Bridgman's History of the Family of 
Swynnerton de Swynnerton in our William Salt Collections. 
(Vol. VII., Part 2, 33, etc.) 

The Writ was dated from the Tower of London, 
13 March, 12 Edward III., 1338, and addressed to 
William Trussell, King's Escheator Citra Trentam — 
the Judge who condemned the Le Despencers. The 

of people were passing along Beresford Lane to the Dale from the Light Railway at 
llulme End. This proof of life returning to the neighbourhood much gratified the 
writer as one of the earliest though perhaps the humblest promoters of that railway. 
Mr. Bonsall also confirmed the tradition which Dr. Cox had from Mr Beresford Hope, 
that wolves once roamed the district ; and he gave, also, some account of the strange 
solitary grave by the Sheen roadside, not far from the north-west corner of Beresford 
manor, in which his great-uncle Bonsall, a straw-hat maker at Manchester, was buried 
in 1819.] 

1 Scotch Roll, 1314-1315 ; H. S. C, VIII. , 31, 34. William de Beresford was 
at Bannockburn with the le Despencers, Verdons, Grindons, etc. 

4<d Beresford of Beresford. 

Inquisition was taken at Newcastle-under-Lyme on the 
20th March, 12 Edward III, on the oath of Ralph de 
Grendon, Richard de Verneye, William de Chavelton 
( ? Cheddleton) Ralph Burgilon, John de Beresford, 
Thomas de Rodeyerd, Adam de Narwedale, Robert 
de Cotes, Henry de Hextal, William de Huggeford, 
Richard le Onyleye, and Roger de Knighteleye. 
They stated that Roger de Swynnerton, the deceased, 
did not hold any lands or tenements in capite of 
the King when he died ; but he held certain lands 
and tenements in Rushton, Ouarnford, Austanfield [Alston- 
field] and Caldon, in the County of Stafford, by the 
grant of the King, which tenements had come into the 
King's hands by the forfeiture of Hugh le Despencer, 
late Earl of Wynton [Winchester], to be held by the 
said Rogfer and his heirs of the Lord the Kinp- and 
other capital lords of the fees by the same services by 
which they had been held before the said forfeiture. 
Le Despencer held at Rushton £% of rent proceeding 
from free tenants, and the pleas and perquisites of the 
Court there were worth twelve pence annually ; it was 
held of the Abbot of Dieulacresse by the service of a 
pound of pepper annually ; and he held in the vill of 
Corneford [Ouarnford] a several pasture on the moors, 
which he had demised to William atte Bekke for a term 
of his life at twenty shillings ; and he held at Alstonfield 
the third of the vill, in which there was no messuage, 
land, meadow or pasture ; but he had rents of assize 
of the free tenants amounting to £\i annually; and the 
pleas and perquisites of the Court were worth ten shillings 
annually ; and he held at Cauldon rents of assize worth 

Ancient Tenure of Beresfoed, 41 

thirty shillings annually ; and no other services or profits ; 
and they say that the said tenements at Corneford 
[Quarnford] were held of James D'Audley by the service 
of two arrows annually ; and the third part of the vill 
of Alstonfield was held of Henry, Earl of Lancaster, by 
the service of the third part of a Knight's fee, &c. 

It is thus clear that Le Despencer before the catas- 
trophe of 1323 had got the barren third of Alstonfield 
which Phillipa de Malbanc had held. When forfeited to 
the Crown it was kept for awhile in the King's hands 
and then bestowed by Edward on the new Earl of 
Lancaster, Swynnerton being made in fact under-tenant. 
Swynnerton drew £12 from the free tenants. The 
grant of all Le Despencer's rights in Alstonfield would 
probably carry the co-parceny share of the nominal over- 
lordship of Beresford with it. It would place the 
Beresfords as Sergeants of Malbanc Forest in the new 
Earldom of Lancaster, but it would not and did not 
reduce them to any further subjection to Swynnerton, 
the mediate lord, than to continue their sergeancy and 
to go on paying the nominal rent of fourteen pence, 
which they had hitherto paid to the lords in co-parceny. 
They held under the socage tenure, and were free 
from the obligation of foreign military service. Neverthe- 
less, as we shall see below, the younger members of the 
family constantly went out to fight their country's battles. 
Several Deeds of John de Beresford's time have 
come down to us and have a special interest both as 
shewing that the lands near Broncote, on the Leek side 
of the Forest, were not sold without the Forester beino- 
invited to be a witness, and also as giving us a second 

42 Beresford of Beresford. 

notice of the subsequently illustrious family of Bagnall, 
of which came the Sir Ralph Bagnal to whom Dieula- 
cresse Abbey was granted. Of the Bagnall family, Fuller 
remarked that no transaction could take place in the 
Moorlands without the Bagnalls being called in as wit- 
nesses ; and we shall see that his words were not 
without warrant. For two centuries at least we meet 
with them in these pages. 

A Deed of 1341 is preserved at Calke Abbey in 
which Henry, son of John Golde, senior, grants to his 
father, John Golde, senior, Netherfield in Bramcote, 
Henry de Rudyerde, John de Beresforde, Ralph de 
Narowdale, William Scheravel, Ralph de Tetesworth, and 
others being witnesses. 

John de Beresford in the same year witnesses a 
grant of John Golde to Thomas Bagenhold and Isolda 
his wife of a parcel of land called Overfield, which he 
had by gift of William, son of Ralph de Bagenholde. 

About the same time John de Beresford witnesses 
a grant of lands in Overhulme, close to Broncote, from 
John Golde to Thomas de Bagenhold, together with a 
large house standing thereon. 

John did not survive the Black Death of the year 
1349, and we have no further special notice of him, 
except in two items mentioned in No. 98 of the Beres- 
ford Deeds, till now, April, 1906, held by Mr. Drury. 
Thus: "Edward III, John de Beresford Dom 8 de Beres- 
forde 20 Edward III., 1346 John de Beresford, Hugo 
de Beresforde." 

Adyn de Beresford. — In the year 1350, the Earl 
of Chester, Prince of Wales, cited Adyn de Beresford, 

Not a Military Fee. 43 

a Fernyhough, a Rudyerd, and others for unnamed and 
perhaps forest offences. They did not appear. (H. S C 
XVI., 9.) 

This Aden had a short life. In 1 361, as the Plea 
Rolls show, his widow Agnes, Thomas de Cholmundeleye, 
parson of Lauton, Richard de Botteslowe, chaplain, and 
John, son of Stephen de Sutton, were guardians of his 
heir, John de Beresford, a minor, and were summoned 
by Sir Thomas de Swynnerton for abducting the said 
heir from Beresford. Sir Thomas said the marriage of 
the heir belonged to him. But, unless nearly related 
to the heir, he was clearly in the wrong. Beresford 
was held in soke and not by military service ; so none 
of the defendants appeared, and the Sheriff was ordered 
to distrain those who had found sureties and to arrest 
the others. Nothing more serious came of it. (H. S. C, 
XIII., 12, 17.) 

This, however, was not the only trouble these 
guardians had. Emma, formerly wife of John de Beres 
ford, sued them for a third of three messuages, a mill, 
two carucates of land, and ten acres of meadow in 
Alstonfield, and twenty shillings rent in the same vill as 
her dower. She was apparently widow of John who 
died about 1350. Perhaps a young second wife. 

In the same year, Thomas, son of William de 
Beresford, breaks into their houses at Alstonfield and 
burns their timber to the value of one hundred shillings. 
Here was another unsatisfied family claim asserted in the 
usual contemporary fashion. (H. S. C, XIII., 47.) 

The failure of the Swynnertons in 1361 to reduce 
the Beresfords to military service or near relationship 

44 Beresford of Beresford. 

seems to have led to reprisals against at least the junior 
branch of the family. Henry Beresford of Leek was in 
1363 sued by the Swynnertons and a Pole of Hartington 
for breaking into their free chase at Alstonfield and 
trespassing after game. The ancient forest had in their 
opinion now become a "chase." (H. S. C, XI IT., 39.) 
We shall presently see how the senior Beresfords re- 
garded this. 

One is glad to notice that the young heir of 
Beresford was left in religious guardianship, and glad, 
too, to learn the name of the chaplain at Beresford ; 
for the manor is shut off from Alstonfield by the 
Narrowdale hills. But the chapel at Beresford has another 
interest also for us besides its suggestion that the family 
w r ere not without the means of worship on days too wet 
for the journey to Alstonfield. For in every old forest 
there was " the house of justice," the mansion house of 
the chief forester, which was provided with a chapel. 

And, happily, we have found an almost contempor- 
aneous Deed, one of 1403, copied into a Bible 2 of 16 13, 
which shews that the Beresfords willingly bore a full 
share of parochial burdens. Indeed Basford [Beresford] 
and the High Frith paid more to the mother church 
of Alstonfield than Longnor, Warslow, and Elkstones, 
combined, perhaps because the latter three had to 
support their own parochial chapels. They were 

" chapelries " and Beresford had simply its private or 

2 Formerly belonging to the Brunt family of High Ash in the heart of Malbanc 
Forest, and now to Mr. W. Johnson of Leek, who kindly lent it to the writer. This 
Deed is in the handwriting of the Mr. William Condlyffe, solicitor, grandson of another 
William Condlyffe who practised at Leek for some sixty years before 1790, and was 
solicitor to the vendor of Beresford, c. 1727, and to Captain John Beresford of Beresford 
and Bentley, and to the principal Beresfords remaining near Leek, 1725-1790. 

A Parish Agreement of 1403. 45 

family chapel. The Deed perhaps shows that Beresford 
was then no longer reckoned part of Warslow. It runs : — 
" Allstonefield Parish. In the year of our Lord 
god a thousand four hundred and three. And in the 
first (? fifth) year of King Henry the ftourth Memor. 
That all general payments either for the reparation of 
the parish church or ells for the maintainance of the Kings 
Majesties wars, that have been of old time accustomed to 
be paid either by a generall storing of every mans goods, 
or ells after there church lay, and the sum of one whole 
church lay iij.l. and that hath been of ould time accus- 
tomed to be paid, and soe continued as thus : first the 
Inhabitances beneath Archford Bridge Thirteen Shillings 
fourpence. Item : the Inhabitances of the high frith and 
Basford [Beresford] foure nobles. Item : the Inhabitances 
of Warslow seaven shillings and one pennie. Item : 
The Inhabitances of both Elkstones seaven shillings and 
one pennie. Item: It is to be remembered that the 
taxk or fifteenth of seaven pounds six shillings eight 
pence was of ould time used to be levied gathered and 
paid in three equal parts : Whereof the inhabitances 
beneath Archford Bridge to pay one parte— and the in- 
habitances of high Frith and Basford [Beresford] to pay 
the second parte. And the inhabitances of Longnor 
Warslow and neather Elkstone to pay the third, and last 
parte, And the premises were written in an ould text 
masse booke in forme aforesaid, and to the intent the 
may be had in remembrance continually. Now are all 
the premises aforesaid — indented and in three parts 
whereof the first part remaines in the custody of William 
Goold of Harbache and the second part being indented 

46 Beresford of Beresford. 

at both sides remaines in the custody of William Hall 
of Stanshoppe, and the third parte being Indented from 
the nether end of the lines of the said second parte 
remaines in the custody of William Yate of Longnor : 
Theire witnesse and psent : p. Richard Smith curate, 
Lawrence Beresford, John Beresford Gentlemen, Hum- 
phery Bagnald, Humphery Pedley, Jeoffrey Rawley, John 
Stones, Singlemen, William Hall, Richard Foole, John 
Stones, Richard Johnson, Henry Titterton, Will. Gould, 
William Millward, Thomas Bomford, Richard Salt, Richard 
Harlows, with many others more at the Indenting hereof 
and the delivery of the same in forme aforesaid being 
the xv th- day of March and in xv th ' year of the raigne 
of our Soverigne Lady Elizz by the grace of God 

Queen of England France and Ireland defender of 

the Faith &c." 

This has been thus summarized by the Rev. E. A. 
Beresford : Fifi-^^tk ™ 

Paid by the Inhabitants. 

1. Below Archford Bridge ... 

2. High Frith and Basford ... 

3. Longnor 5/10, Warslow 7/1 

Elkstone 7/1 

This fact that Beresford was a distinct manor, here 
called Basford, and had its own chaplain may be illus- 
trated by another fact. Families who did not quite care 

Church Lay 

£ s. d. 
13 4 

1 6 8 

r iiiccinn vi 

War Tax 

£7 6 8 

£ s. d. 

2 8 iof 
2 8 iof 

2 8 io| 


£7 6 8 

Mounted Archers. 47 

to take up Knighthood nevertheless often sent a younger 
member at their own expense to the wars as archer or 
spearman. These "bows and lances" were gentlemen 
and mounted— often the younger sons of knightly families 
next in rank after the knight. (H. S. C, XVIII., Part 
2, 3.) The Queen's Remembrancer Rolls (Army Bundle 
51, H. S. C, 3ciV., 230), record that when the Earl of 
of Buckingham, in the years 1380-81, led an expedition 
into France, amongst the archers under William de Wyn- 
desore were John Beresford and William Stafford, who 
claimed wages from 28 June, 1381, to the following second 
of March. In the force were twelve knights, one hundred 
and six squires, and two hundred archers. The pay of a 
knight was two shillings a day, of an esquire one shilling 
and that of an archer sixpence A force under a banner- 
ette consisted of so many spears, and so many bows. And 
such a mounted archer or spearman was the Thomas 
Beresford of Agincourt, to whose times we are coming. 
And one must not forget the close connection which we 
saw between the Aden Beresford of 1 300-1 341 and the 
famous William de Cheddleton, and that the latter was 
trusted by the King to collect the Cheshire bowmen for 
the Black Prince. So close and valiant an ally would 
tend to stimulate archery at Beresford and on the hill 
above the terraced slope of Gratton. 

Adam de Beresford. We have already pointed out 
the probable connection between the Beresfords and the 
Fitz Adams of Waterfall and Grindon and stated that 
the lands at these places were, soon after the Conquest, 
apparently divided between both families. In 1398, 
Adam de Beresford has to defend his rights at Grindon. 

48 Beresford of Beresford. 

He sues three brothers of the name of Woodgryme for 
breaking- into his closes and houses at Grindon and 
cutting down his trees to the value of one hundred 
shillings, and treading down and consuming his grass 
with their cattle to the value of forty shillings. Like 
other defendants they do not appear. (Plea Rolls, 
H. S. C, XVI., 52.) ' 


Our readers will permit us to insert a note here 
on an event of much importance, namely the return 
back again to the Beresford family of the Drury 
Deeds. These deeds, some two hundred in number, 
were, as we have already stated, most of them left 
at Bentley Hall by Captain Richard Beresford, when 
nearly a hundred years ago, he sold his Derbyshire 
estates ; and it is pleasant, at this point of our history, 
to be able to record their acquisition (by purchase from 
Mr. Drury) by Dr. William Hugh Beresford, one of the 
band of brothers who now represent the Newton Grange 
and Fenny Bentley branches of which Captain Richard, 
their great-uncle, was the careless head. As a matter of 
coincidence it may also be recorded that their transference 
came about through the revelation of the existence of 
these Deeds having been most kindly made by Mr. 
Drury to the present writer some years ago. By a not 
unnoticeable further coincidence the writer was at the 
moment of the transference staying at Newton Grange, 
where the Deeds had lain for centuries. We still quote 
them however, under the letter " D." 

Additional Note to Chapter V. 49 


The Beresfords of Leek were an early offshoot from 
Beresford as we have already seen. On May 7, 1316, 
an assize was held at Tamworth to ascertain whether 
William de Beveresford, Richard son of William de Bentele, 
and Thomas son of Elias de Nedham and seven others, 
had not unjustly disseized Hugh de Prestwold of half 
the Manor of Sheen. This was Bentley's quarrel, and 
William de Beresford of Leek simply helped him. The 
jury found against them ; and Bentley and Beresford 
were only rescued from prison by Adam de Beveresford 
and his ally William Shirard or De Cheddleton, who 
became surety for half a mark. (H. S. C, IX., 61.) 
In the document, D98, William is called the brother 
of Hugh de Beresford and has a daughter Juliana. 

In the twenty-first year of Edward I., 1293, he was 
one of a Jury of Enquiry for the Hundred of Totmonslow, 
and as late as 1347 his name appears as a witness on 
a Deed in which John de Rudyerd gave to Henry his 
brother a burgage in the town of Leek. (Harl. MSS., 
128, f. 97. H. S. C, VI., pt. 1, 257.) 

In 17 Edward III., 1343, he sues Thomas, lord of 
Overton of Bydulf, and Thomas his heir for a debt 
of £4. (H. S. C, XII., 25.) 

In 1378 a strange event happened at Leek in a 
faction fight between the authorities of the town and the 
people of Ipstones. An Ipstones man, John de Warton, 
seems to have insulted some official of the town, and 
his murder resulted ; but so many persons were implicated, 
that a public enquiry was held before Ralph de Vernoun, 

^0 Beresford of Beresford. 

Chivaler, and other Justices. They found that a gang 
of men had come armed into the town and had captured 
Warton and kept him prisoner for a time and then 
beheaded him on Leek Moor by command of William 
de Lichefield, Abbot of Dieulacres, and had taken from 
his chamber in Leek a jack of fustian worth twenty 
shillings, a bow and arrows, a brazelle of silver worth 
thirteen shillings and fourpence, a horse with a saddle 
worth ten shillings, and other goods to the value of four- 
pence. The Abbot, his cellarer, Edmund de Draycote, 
William del Brugge, Vicar of Leek, Robert de Beresford 
and William Dyke had received the gang. The Abbot 
and the cellarer escaped with the King's pardon after 
much difficulty and many adventures. So did Dyke and 
the Vicar. How Beresford fared is not stated. But 
enough is known to indicate that the Leek Beresfords 
shared the risk and burden of local government with the 
Abbot and the Vicar. And when in 3T Edward III., 
1358, certain tenements were assigned to the latter by 
Nicholas de Verdone de Caltone the witnesses were, 
Nicholas de Stafford, Knight, Roger de Bradshawe, John 
de ffernyhalgh, Henry de Beresford, and others. {History 
of Leek, 80, H. S. C, XIV., 153-4, and New Series, 
IX., 297.) 


prufcence anb procjrees. 

E come now to the period when Thomas Beres- 
ford left the parental roof at Beresford to settle 
at Newton Grange, and eventually to found the 
families not only of Newton Grange and Fenny Bentley 
but those also of the Marquis of Waterford and others. 
The Aden de Beresford who died before 1361 left 
a widow, Agnes, and a son, John, not then of age. 
This John was one of the mounted archers with William 
de Wyndesore in France in 1381. (H. S. C., XIV., part I 
230.) The List of Deeds, D98, tells us that his wife, 
Cecilia, was alive in 1407 and 1408, And their eldest 
son, John, married Elizabeth, daughter of William Basset, 
one of the great Staffordshire family of that name; and 
John and Elizabeth were the parents of Thomas of 
Newton Grange 

And now again the old wariness of the family became 
necessary ; for once again the quarrels of the Crown 
narrowly affected Beresford. The great struggle was 
beginning in which the over-lord of Beresford and 
Hartington, the Duke of Lancaster, ousted Richard II. 
from the throne. Richard confiscated the estates of the 
Duke of Lancaster in 1399, and was himself deposed 
within the year. But the Cheshire bowmen, with whom 
the Beresfords were so closely linked, were the strong 
arm on which the old dynasty leaned. The struggle, 


Beresford of Beresford. 

therefore, was between loyalty to the deposed Plantagenet 
monarch and duty to the usurping House of Lancaster, 
who was supreme lord of Alstonfield. 

The struggle must have been intensely felt in the 
Staffordshire Moorlands. But Beresford's caution was 
equal to the occasion. We come across a curious suc- 
cession of Deeds executed by him. In 1402 he writes : 
" Know all men that I, John de Beresford give and by 
this my present charter concede to Adem de Newbigging, 
Vicar of Hertyngton, Richard Palmer, Vicar of the church 
of Alstonfield, Stephen de Orton, Vicar of the church 
of Polesworth, and Thomas Byllock chaplain, all lands, 
tenements, rents and services thereto pertaining, which 
in anyway I have within the counties of Derby and 
Stafford in Beresford, Narrowdale, Alstonfield, Warslow, 
with the forestership ; and in Mawbon (Malbanc) Fryth, 
in Wolfscote, Bakewell and in Ashburn, with all that 
pertains to them, to have and to hold the same from 
the capital lords of the fees by accustomed service under 
warranty from the said John. These being witnesses, 
Richard de Beresford, John de Hope, Henry de Bagnold, 
William de Eyton, John Clerke of Alstonfield and others. 
Dated at Beresford at the Feast of the Purification of 
of the blessed Mary, in the third year of the reign of 
King Henry the IV, 1402." (M.S. copy by Captain 
John Beresford. 1 ) 

In 1408, he dates on the Feast of the Purification, 
an Indenture between himself, John de Beresford, on the 

1 Captain John Bcmford of the Newton Grange branch bought Beresford back in 
1 68 1 from Joseph Wodehouse, to whom Cotton had sold it, and made copies of the 
ancient deeds of his ancestors, which copies are amongst the old Beresford Deeds 
restored by Mr. Drury to the family. 

Esquire, Archer and Forester. 53 

one part and Nicholas de Ker on the other part, that 
the said Nicholas shall hold from him one messuage with 
buildino-s upon it and two bovates of land in Alstonfeld 
to the end of the life of Sabine, wife of the said 
Nicholas, etc., with certain stipulations for the payment 
of a heriot, the witnesses being Henry Cowper, Roger 
son of Aden, John, son of Robert, John Pole, John de 
Eyton and others. 

John de Beresford was himself an archer, as we 
know. Now, in 141 1 a force of archers was sent into 
France by Henry IV. Did John refuse to go and thus 
make himself obnoxious again to the Lancastrian King? 
It seems like it; for he has again to put his estates 
in trust. Duo, like the last two, is a copy of a deed 
made by Captain John Beresford, in which at Alston- 
held in 141 1, John de Beresford confirms to Aden his 
younger son, all lands, tenements, rents, and services, 
which he has in the ville and fields of Alstonfield with 
the office of Forester in the forest of Mawbon fryth, 
with Housebote (the right to cut timber for repairs), 
Heybote (the right to take thorns and wood for hedges, 
gates and fences) and common of pasture in the said 
forest for thirteen cows and a bull, thirteen mares and 
a stallion, thirteen swine and a boar to three years old, 
rendering to the capital lord ijd. for all services, the 
service & of the King excepted. Neither goats, which 
were obnoxious to deer, nor sheep, which were barely 
tolerated in a forest, are mentioned. 

Another deed of the year 141 1 conceded to Aden, 
son of John de Beresford, all the said John's services 
and tenements in the ville and fields of Beresford and 

54 Beresford of Beresford. 

Narrowdale, the said Aden and his heirs to hold the 
property, paying annually to the capital lords of the fee 
twelve pence or twelve broad arrows with a quiver at 
the Feast of S. Michael, The heirs of Narrowdale to 
render annually to the heirs of Beresford, viz., in two 
years both years three shillings and in the third year 
five shillings or a young beast having horns and ears 
of equal length by the service called le Scuth. The 
witnesses were John de la Pole of Hertingdon, Richard 
de Beresford, John de Hope, Reginald Spyart and 
others. Dated at Beresford, the Conversion of S. Paul, 
13 Hen. IV., 1412. 

The same year, on the feast of S. Lucy, a deed 
was drawn up at Hartington wherein John Jackson, 
Vicar of Alstonfield, William de Wythall, Rector of 
Kersington, William de Eyton, Rector of Thorpe, 
William de Dufneld, William Ragg, Thomas Dawkyn, 
John de Buckstones, Thomas Byllock, Henry Sowter, 
Henry Ball and John Benting, Chaplains, appoint their 
beloved in Christ Adam de Newbio-oqnor Vicar of the 
church of Hertyngdon, their attorney for receiving, etc., 
all the rents, etc., of the lands, etc., belonging to John 
de Beresford in the ville and fields of Wolfscote. This 
deed was witnessed by John Waryn, John Hardy ng, 
Edmund de Hall and others. 

The confidence shewn by John de Beresford in 
following a prevalent custom in making over his property 
to the clergy in these unconditional deeds was not mis- 
placed. No confiscation took place ; and in due time 
John the heir succeeded, for Aden, the second son, died 
without issue. The clergy were strongly Lancastrian in 

Wolfscote added to Beresford. 55 

sympathy ; but this did not prevent John from trusting 
them. Local sympathies were stronger than national 
politics ; and a faithful son of the Church could often 
entrench himself in the protection of the clergy when all 
other friends were powerless to help him. 

So when in 141 1 John had made over his Alston- 
field property to his younger son, Aden, he had been able 
to enlarge his estate eastwards, and to purchase from 
John Lucas, of Wolfstancote, all right to five acres of 
land in Wolstancote, of which one acre lay between the 
lands of the said John Beresford on the one part, and 
those of John Heathcote on the other, with all woods 
and waters, easements, paths, etc., and all places under 
the earth and above the earth. The original deeds 
are now in the Drury Collection. Fifty-eight years 
later, as we are told in D98, John de Beresford, per- 
haps a grandson of this John, obtained by grant a 
relaxation from John Pole of Hartington of an annual 
rent of xviij.d. arising from a tenement in Wolfscote. 

John must have lived to see his children's children. 
His son John must have married Elizabeth Basset long 
before 141 1, for their second son, Thomas, 2 is said 
traditionally to have fought at Agincourt in 141 5. It 
would seem, then, that the Beresfords only resisted their 
chief-lord's right to the Kingdom during the reign of 
Henry IV. Henry V. thoroughly won their allegiance, 
as he did that of the whole kingdom, and the younger 
sons of the house again went forth with their Cheshire 
comrades to fight their country's battles, and to follow 
the Red Rose to the end. 

2 Tomb at Fenny Bentley. 

56 Beresford of Beresford. 

Thomas Beresford settled at Newton Grange, and 
became the ancestor of the most enduring and pros- 
perous branches of the family. But his history and that 
of his descendants living in Derbyshire demand separate 
treatment later on. 

Peace and development continued during the too- 
brief reign of Henry V,, but John Beresford, the elder, 
scarcely survived the agitations through which he had 
passed under Henry IV. 

The policy of extension was continued for awhile at 
Beresford. The List of Deeds (D98) tells us that John 
and Thomas Beresford in 1429 purchased lands in Heath- 
cote — the wild land north-east of Wolfscote. In 1430, 
John Beresford de Beresford and Richard Beresford de 
Ashholme are mentioned 3 in a deed of which, happily, 
we have a copy. It certifies that William Mabby of 
Longford, County Derby, and Joanna his wife, confirmed 
to John Beresford of Beresford all the lands they had 
in the fee of Warslow by the gift of John Stele of 
Warslow ; to be held by the services owing to the chief 
lord. Witnesses : Richard de Beresford of Assheholme, 
Nicholas de Schene of Schene and John Martyn of 
Butterton. On the scrap of the seal tag are the words : 
"It is agreed by this indenture that John de la Pole of 
Hertyngton give to John Sterndale of Sterndale the 
manor of Buxton." A branch of the De la Poles lived 
at Hartington in the middle ages, their old moated 
home being still known as Pole Hall. 

The late Mr. Beresford- Hope had this deed and 
also another which introduces a new Beresford to our 

3 ^98- 

Forest Duties and Fees. 57 

notice. It is one of the Deeds mentioned in the List, 
D98, and records that on the 17th day of Pentecost, 
26 Henry VI. (1448) to the Court held at Alstonfield 
came John son of John de Beresford and took from the 
lord in coi [? Co-parceny] one messuage with all its 
appurtenances called Daykenstall formerly in possession of 
William Shene to be held according to the right of the 
custom of the manor of Fryth for the whole of this 
life, and remainder to his brother William and after 
him to Henry his brother. Sealed by John Harrison, 

Lodge's Peerage of 1754, Vol. II., p. 209, tells us 
that Henry and William both died childless. They were 
younger sons of John Beresford and Elizabeth Basset. 
The Basset marriage brought anything but peace with it. 

In these Deeds the Forestership is clearly recorded, 
but the sergeancy of the hills has by this time disap- 
peared and become merged in the socage tenure. The 
duties devolving on the forester were those of keeping 
some sort of ward over both the game and the timber. 
Deer still roamed over the hills or were driven into 
the booths near Longnor. The forester must have had 
many an encounter with moss-troopers and poachers. 
But though neither bows nor unmained dogs were 
usually allowed in a forest, the Beresfords cultivated 
archery as we have seen ; and though they held no 
forest-courts, they had certain rights connected with their 
duties — the right to all trees blown down by tempest, 
to all loppings of trees felled, and to certain parts of 
the venison killed, over and above the pasturing of the 
herds of thirteen mentioned a little while ago. But in 

58 Beresford of Beresford. 

the period last reviewed, it seems that the old order 
was rapidly giving way to the new ; and that the old 
families were planting their sons out as farmers of 
granges, or traders in the moorland wool, or even 
lead mining. Thus Thomas Beresford went to Newton 
Grange early in the fifteenth century ; and a little later, 
Gateham Grange near Beresford, as well as Enstone 
Grange near Stafford — all under the kindly Abbey of 
Combermere, — afforded homes for the various branches of 
the family. 

It was also about this time that the Sleighs took up 
farming at Pilsbury Grange for the monks of Merivale, 
and the Hurts— one of our oldest Derbyshire families — 
plunged into lead-mining. Weaving was early introduced 
into the farm houses of the Beresford estate, and in the 
Papers of Henry VIII., 1 5 1 7, Feb. 7. (Westminster) we 
have a pardon for Thomas Daubeney of Warslowe, 
weaver, for killing Henry Beresford of Astholme. This 
Astholme may be the place now known as Hulme End. 
Even Canon James Beresford, youngest son of Thomas 
Beresford, of Fenny Bentley and Newton Grange, 
obtained a Lease in 15 19 from Combermere Abbey of 
the parsonage of Alstonfield for eighty years, on which 
his brother Laurence and his heirs John and Laurence 
settled down, renewing the Lease in 1591 as we find 
in the Hatfield House papers (58-73). The Canon him- 
self, also, did a profitable deal in timber, and the great 
monasteries trafficked among themselves as we hope to 
show presently from family documents relating to Newton 
Grange. But we must now return to the course of 
our story. 


Mars of tbe IRoses: Xocal (Quarrels, 

HE good days of Henry V. passed away. The 
succeeding monarch was but an infant when he 
came to the throne in 1422, and the old spirit 
of unrest again seized the country. 

One of the next John Beresford's first recorded 
adventures brings to light the Flacket family, who 
afterwards lived at Hanson and played a part in our 
subsequent history. The Plea Rolls, De Banco, 1438, 
(H. S. C, n. s. III., 145,) record that Robert Holynton, 
the prior of St. Margaret of Calwyche, Co. Stafford, 
and Thomas Flacket of Calwyche, husbandman, were 
attached at the suit of James Olde for forcibly taking 
ten oxen and eight cows belonging to him at Calwyche, 
for which he claimed ^20 as damages. 1 The defendants 
appeared in person and denied the trespass and injury, 
and appealed to a jury which was to be summoned for 
the Ouindene of St. Michael. And John Bersford, of 
Bersford, Co. Stafford — de Beresford no longer — William 
Corbet of Calwyche, yeoman, Roger Perpount [Pierpoint] 
of Holme, Co. Notts., gentilman, and Thomas Golburn 
of Holme, Co. Notts., yeoman, became sureties to pro- 
duce the said Thomas at the above date. 

And now, with times passing from bad to worse, 

I These cattle-lifting charges were the result of bad or no fences and jealousy of 
new fences. 

60 Beresford of Beresford. 

comes into view an armed array of neighbours against 
each other. Six years after the above named case, 
Sampson Meverell, late of Throweley, Knight, John Beres- 
ford of Beresford, the younger, gentilman, William Purs- 
gloves, Vicar of Tyddeswell, Co. Derby, John Cantrell 
of Alstonfield, husbondman, John Bagnall of Oncote, 
husbondman, and T. Wryght of Wetton, husbondman, 
were attached at the suit of Ralph Basset, armiger, for 
treading down and consuming his hay at Throweley in 
stacks with their cattle ; and Ralph stated that on the 
Feast of the Nativity of the holy Mary in 21 Henry 
VI., 1443, they had come to Throweley with swords and 
bows and arrows, and had consumed and trodden down 
with their cattle sixty cart-loads of hay. The defendants 
appeared and asked for an adjournment of the case till 
the Octave of St. Hilary, which was granted. Ralph 
Basset also charged Nicholas fitz-Herberd of Norbury, 
armiger, and thirteen others with cutting down one 
hundred oaks at Snelson and carrying off two hundred 
loads of underwood. (H. S. C, n. s. III., 167.) 

The squabble between Basset and Beresford dragged 
slowly along. Four years later, we read in our William 
Salt Society Collections, (H. S. C, n. s. III., 179) that 
Ralph Basset, armiger, sued John Berysford of Berysford, 
gentilman, William Pursgloves, Vicar of the Church of 
Tyddeswalle, and John Bagenhall of Onecote husbandman, 
for depasturing cattle on his common and grass at 
Grendon and Musdene. The defendants did not appear, 
and the Sheriff was ordered to distrain John Berysford 
and to arrest the others and produce them at the 
Quindene of St. Hilary. Fitzherbert and Bagnall, it 

The Archbishop an Ally. 61 

will be noticed, appear on the Beresford side of the 

The case seems like both a political and a family 
dispute and may have arisen out of some claim made 
on account of Elizabeth Basset, John Beresford's grand- 
mother, or even of the Beatrice de Stafford of a remoter 
date. And now a great ally and probable relative of 
the Beresfords appears on the scene. The record con- 
tinues a little further on : " John the Archbishop of 
Canterbury (John de Stafford) sued Ralph Basset late 
of Blore, armiger, Richard Basset of Tutbury, gentilman, 
Richard Meverell, late of Blore, gentilman, William 
Thornbury, late of Blore, yoman, John Cantrell of 
Alsfield [Alstonfield], yoman, Richard Tippyng of Great 
Yate, yoman, and William Goold of Grendon, yoman, 
for breaking into his closes and houses at Throwley and 
Froddeswalle. The defendants did not appear. The 
Sheriff was to arrest them. 

Next year came further trouble from Basset. William 
Rufford late of Grendon, clerk, and John Bersford of 
Bersforcl, gentilman, were attached at the suit of Ralph 
Basset, armiger, in a plea, that they together with John 
the Abbot of Dieulacres, Sampson Meverell, late of 
Throweley, Knight, and Isabella his wife, Nicholas Mount- 
gomery, late of Cubley, Co. Derby, armiger, Thomas 
Meverell, late of Throweley, gentilman, John Holys, 
of Moseley, gentilman, John Stathome, late of Throweley, 
yoman, William Londesdale, late of Throweley, yoman, and 
four others named, had broken into his close at Blore, 
on the Friday before the feast of St. Barnabas, 26 
Henry VI., 1448, and had taken twelve cows, twelve 

62 Beresford of Beresford. 

oxen, worth twenty marks, and had so beaten his ser- 
vants John Hudde, John Baxdonden, and John Cole, 
that he had lost their services for six months afterwards, 
for which he claimed ^40 as damages. The defendants 
appealed to a jury. (H. S. C, n. s. III., 185.) 

The quarrel waned as time went on, but Basset 
appeared continually in the Courts and impleaded his 
neighbours. He assessed his damages at 390 marks, 
but a Cheadle jury cut them down to ten marks ; and 
Ralph still went on appearing in person at every Court. 

As the Rose of Lancaster blushed a deeper red and 
war was coming on, a graver charge was brought forward. 
In 145 1 John Berisforde late of Berisforde, the younger, 
gentilman and John Cowaderey, late of Hum, yoman, 
were attached by their bodies to answer the appeal of 
Agnes, late wife of John Taillour, for the death of her 
husband. She stated that, three years before, her husband 
was at Cheadle in Co. Stafford at the feast of S. Law- 
rence the Martyr, when the two accused, together with 
Thomas Meverell, William Lonsdale, James Mellour late 
of Hope, yoman, Richard Lout, late of Stanshope, 
labourer, and Robert Starkey, late of Fossebroke, labourer, 
and six others had laid in wait for her husband ; and 
that Meverell and the others had struck him on the 
head ; and that Beresford and Cowaderey had received 
and maintained the felons. The two latter appeared 
and appealed to a jury. Meverell, Lonsdale and others 
were outlawed, and Sampson Meverell of Throweley, 
Knight, Humphrey Haskyth of Rodburne, gentilman, 
and John Staley of Throweley, yoman, stood bail. The 
jury, however, acquitted John Berisforde of the "false 

Charge of Murder refuted. 63 

accusation " and awarded him twenty shillings damages 
{Ibid, p. 194). 

But the quarrel did not end here. At Hilary, 

29 Henry VI., 145 1, Ralph Basset sued Sampson Mev- 
erell, late of Throweley, Knight, and Isabella his wife, 
and John Beresford of Beresford, gentilman, for breaking 
into his close at Blore and carrying off twelve oxen and 
twelve cows and beating his servants. This time the 
defendants did not appear. [Ibid, p. 199, 200). 

The question of the Taylor murder was very long 
in being settled. It came up again at Stafford in 31 
Henry VI., 1453 ; and John Beresford again going to 
face it out, was committed to the Marshalsea, in Stafford, 
but escaped by producing the King's Letters Patent of 
pardon, dated 30 Oct. 31 Henry VI., 1453. (Ibid., p. 
210). Two Meverells were indicted with him, and a 
Sampson Meverell was the Judge. Four years later the 
case again came up, when it was shown that Beresford 
had been acquitted by the jury at Stafford Assizes no 
less than seven years before. (lb. 225.) The persistency 
of a poor widow was her only hope in those troubled 
times : but it is very satisfactory to know that John 
Beresford fully and fairly faced the charge and was as 
fully acquitted by his King and countrymen. This, thank 
God, is the only charge of murder in our local family 
history, and it simply arose out of the armed quarrels 
of the later middle ages. 

John, son of John and Elizabeth (Basset) Beresford, 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Davenport of 
Bramhall, Co. Chester, Esquire, as the Harl. MSS. tell 
us. His son John is described as being also of Enstone, 

64 Beresford of Beresford. 

between Sandon and Stafford. Enstone was a manor 
belonging to the Abbey of Combermere. Apparently, 
like the Aden of an equally troubled time, John sought 
and found a bride at Sandon ; for he married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Hugh Erdeswick of Sandon, Esquire, the 
successor of the Staffords and Audleys there. 

These records shew, even more plainly than the 
fact that Beresford was now held under the Lancastrian 
chief Lord of Alstonfield, that the family eventually 
espoused the Lancastrian cause and fought vigorously in 
their own vicinity for the Red Rose. And there are 
two epitaphs in Tideswell Church which illustrate the 
families allied with the Beresfords at the time. One is 
that of Bishop Robert Pursglove, born at Tideswell, last 
of the sumptuous priors of Gisborne, and Bishop of 
Hull, who died in 1579, after founding Grammar Schools 
at Gisborne and Tideswell— doubtless the grandson of 
the Vicar of Tideswell mentioned above — for our old 
English clergy were often married men. The other 
epitaph is that of Sir Sampson Meverell, 1462, who was 
first in the service of Lord Audley, and then in that 
of John Montegu, Earl of Salisbury, and afterwards of 
John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury. "Soe enduring 
in great worship." Such records show plainly that although 
Beresford lay remote from London, its ancient lords were 
still as closely linked with the leading men of the later 
middle aees as their forefathers had been with the chief- 
tains of the county under the early Edwards. We can 
hardly wonder therefore that we begin to find them 
oftener at Enstone than at Beresford, and that they ventured 
to assume a profitable interest in the Stafford courts. 


Zbe "Reformation period 

HE spirit of anarchy, aggression, and destruction 
which breaks out in the time of civil war was 
illustrated in the last chapter. With quieter 
times and a more settled government, peace came back 
into the Staffordshire hills; and with the next John 
Beresford, who is described in the List D98 as "of 
Enstone," in 1499 we seem to leave war and turmoil 

The bitterness left by the strife in which his father 
was involved at Beresford, perhaps, together with his 
marriage with Elizabeth Erdeswick of Sandon would 
naturally link him more closely with Enstone in the 
neighbourhood of the county town, than with the Moor- 
lands ; and this renewed connection, by his marriage, with 
the chief families of the county might have been ex- 
pected to lead John to public services even greater than 
those of his fathers. But we hear nothing more of him 
than Blore briefly states in the Pedigree. John was his 
heir and Cecilia his daughter. She married Thomas 
Broughton of Rugeley, Co. Stafford, Esquire, but this 
marriage brought trouble after it, as we shall see in the 
case of Sampson Beresford, mentioned a few pages further 
on. The name Cecilia or Cicely was that of her great- 
great-grandmother, the first wife of John de Davenport 
of Bramhall and a daughter of Sir Lawrence Warren of 

66 Beresford of Beresford. 

Poynton, Knight; and Cecilia thenceforward became a 
favourite name both with the Davenports and the 
Beresfords. The two families had long been linked 
together by their forest duties, a Davenport being Master 
Forester of Macclesfield Forest, which adjoined Malbanc 
Forest on the north. A little later, as we shall see, 
the near neighbourhood of the county town made itself 
felt by one Beresford becoming the Marshal and another, 
for at least a year, the Escheator, of Staffordshire. 
These offices were both of dignity. But the junior 
members of the family showed a rather too frequent 
fondness for farming church property. We have already 
noted Canon Beresford's lease of Alstonfield Rectory 
and alluded to his dealing in timber. The details of 
the latter have since appeared in Sir Henry Bemrose's 
Charters (No. 2555), which fine volume also gives from 
the Derby muniments another transaction of a like nature 
wherein Denis Beresford, of Gray's Inn, renews a lease of 
1527, in which the Dean of Lincoln had leased to Edward 
Beresford, his father, the rectory of Chesterfield, with all 
the demesne lands and one fishing in the Derwent for 
fifty-nine years and the site of Little Chester Manor 
for sixty-nine years. But the Dean knew how to drive 
a bargain. He stipulates that the said Denis shall up- 
hold and repair the buildings of the said parsonage and of 
the said manor at his own costs, the Dean allowing him 
26s. 8d a year and selling him all the trees and wood 
growing in his wood called Dudmoor for ^24 sterling, 
Denis to leave certain stallings, wevers and kinges, so that 
the said Dean " may be saved harmlesse against the late 
Statute" for saving woods and springs [Charters No. 1013). 

The Alstonfield and Irish Branches. 6y 

So, too, Canon James and one of his brothers, 
Laurence, who no doubt acted as man-of-business to the 
learned canon, had to grant tynsell to repair the hedges 
of the Abbot of Darley's tenant at Whatstandwell during 
the twenty years when they were cutting down and 
carrying away the Abbot's woods. (Charters, 2555). But 
neither Canon James nor Laurence spent the money thus 
earned upon themselves. The Canon, it is true, provided 
for his brother Hugh's sons, John and Laurence, by 
obtaining the lease of Alstonfield Rectory for them, on 
which both families lived for more than a century ; but 
he also helped to establish S. John's College at Cam- 
bridge by founding two senior fellowships and scholarships ; 
he enriched the close at Lichfield with beautiful build- 
ings and the Church at Fenny Bentley with a Bede 
house and Chantry ; and Laurence (of Ley Hall, Tissing- 
ton) left the first-fruits of his fortune to charitable uses, 
as is shewn by a Chancery suit which followed his 
death. (H. S. C, n. s. IX., 91, 92.) The truth is that 
a new era was dawning, in which the energies of the 
old families, hitherto spent in fighting out their quarrels, 
were turned with profit to matters of business ; and in 
this both the Abbeys and Cathedrals encouraged and 
helped them. Indeed several of the sons of Thomas, 
the Canon's father, made themselves wealthy men ; and 
it was the enterprise of the family, now becoming 
conspicuous, which, a few generations later, carried the 
descendants of Humphry, Thomas's seventh son, into 
Ireland. But we must return to our story. 

The quarrel between Basset and Beresford, who were 
cousins, died out with the principals engaged in it, or 

68 Beresford of Beresford. 

even sooner. Love the leveller healed the breach. The 
next and last John Beresford, of the senior line, boldly 
sought and found a bride at Blore Hall. Did they 
meet first in romantic Dovedale— which lies between 
their homes— and timidly talk of dark days gone by? 
Anyway, the old family pedigree tells us that John the 
younger about the year 1470 married Margaret, daughter 
of William Basset of Blore and thus strengthened the 
link between the Audleys, Staffords and Beresfords which 
had lono - existed. 

John is described as of Beresford in 15 10, on the 
List D 98, but in 15 13 he was mentioned as of En- 
stone in a Deed (D31) in which William Stepulton late 
of Hulton, Co. Stafford, son of Richard Stepulton then 
dead, sold to John Beresford of Enstone, gent., Reginald 
Damport [Davenport] chaplain, Wm. Bucknall, John 
Edwards, and Wm. Spooner, a mediety, one eighth of 
a messuage, in Eves, near Bucknall, called the Hole 
House, 1 lately occupied by Thomas Poison, " which part 
or share my father gave me "... the said share to be 
held by the trustees above named to the use of the 
said John Beresford. Richard Craddock was his attorney 
to give seizin, and Thomas Sargeant, George Cradock, 
Thomas Meonbright, William Johnson, and Thomas Labot 
etc., were witnesses. Dated at Enstone, 23 Jan. 5 Henry 
VIII., 1512. 

The reason of this investment of land in the hands 
of trustees perhaps becomes intelligible from a stipulation 

I Enstone is within a half hour's ride of Stafford, to which town people went for 
the winter as they now go to London. Hole House would be half way between 
Beresford and Enstone. 

jfohn Beresford's Will, 152 3. 69 

in his Will that Robert his son and heir, should "order 
himself according to the wish of his guardians." The 
said heir was apparently a trouble to his father. For 
similar trustees John buys property at Rugeley. 

John's Will is dated November, 1522, and the probate 
March, 1522; the years then running from March 25 
to March 24, and not from January 1 to December 31. 
The document is interesting as showing medievalism in 
full swing just before the Reformation. It seems that 
Masses for the Dead were not said so much in parish 
churches — nor were these endowed for that purpose — as 
in conventual churches. Our copies of this and the Wills 
of Sampson and Edward Beresford were made from the 
original Wills in Somerset House by Col. G. W. Beres- 
ford, whose reading is here given. 

" In the name of God Amen The XXth day of November in the yere of our 
Lord God MDXXII. I John Berreford of Enston of good memory make this my 
present testamt. ffirst I betake my soule to the mercie of Almighty God and my 
body to be buried in the churche of Sandon nere the buriall of Margaret my wyfe 
and my custume and maner to St. Chedde of Lychfeld and S. Mary house at 
Coventrie 2s. by even porcons. Also I will that vj. pound of waxe be burnt about 
my sepulture. I will that the churche of Sandon have a vestment with th apurtinace 
for a prest to syng masse price xx.s. I will the churche of Salte have a cope price 
xl.s. Also I will the church of Alstonfeld have x.s. the chapell at Breston 
vj.s. viij.d. the chapell of St. Luke vj.s. viij.d. and in Wax candells xij.d. the Abbot 
of Hilton vj.s. viij.d. And evey of the Convent xij.d. and to have masse and 
dirige the grey ffreres of Staff, x.s. and there to have a Trentall the Austen ffreres 
of the same iij.s. iij.d. xx. pour maides nobles to there manage of the wch 
I have named viij. and the other xii. by the discrecons of myn executours my cosyn 
margarett Suleweire xx.s. my neve Symon Berreford v. marks sterlinge my nevwe 
Thomas Berreforde sterling Emmet my cosyn mother to Robt. Emmot vi.s. viij.d. 
Also every of my servants that is to saie jj. maidens either a haiffer James a best 
of the last yere and one of this yere Rob one of this yere. John Hole a 
beste of the last yere the miliar if he abide his yere a Beest of ye last yere 
the neryste if she abide hir yere a haiffer and every weke iiij.d. Also I will 
have a Preest at Berreford iij. yeres my sonne Robt to fynd hym his borde and 
myn executur to paye his wage Also I will that every prest have at my buriall 
iiij.d. every clerke with surples ij.d. every man woman and chylde at my buriall a peny. 


Beresford of Beresford. 

Also I will that Robt myne eldest sonne have my lande both that came to me by 
inheritance and my purchased lande and his heire for ever Also I will that he contynue 
and inhabite at Berreford hall and upon the goode domeans of the saide Robert and 
Mary his wife and that they be ordered and counccled by the good advice of myn ex- 
ecutours 1- ' |I will that he have all my ffermeys (fermes) and tithes refermed upon the 
good domaine of Richard my sonne and that by the advice of myn executours that if 
hee can be maried that he shall have as I have instructed my saide executours in pte 
of the farmys. Also I will that my said sonne Robert have to the setting up of hys 
householde at Berreford vi. oxen x. Kyne a bull c. wethers and ewyes ij. horses iij. 
mares viij. of the grete silver spoons with appostells and stuffe of householde by the 
discrecon of my sayde executours deliured to him by Bill endented. Provided alwey 
that if the sayde Robt my sonne doe goe and dwell at Berreford hall and there to in- 
habit that then it shall be lawful for the said Robt to enjoy and to have all things 
as is aforesayde or els to have no more by my gyfte at no tymes than the law will give 
as my land and his heire Lomis [heirlooms] Also I will that Richard my sonne 
have xl. marks of my goods and that he in likewise be ordered and councelled by 
th advice of my said ex'ours and that he and the sd goods be put to my sonne in 
law Nicholas Riggley Provided that there be sufficient suretie founde for the goodes 
and that he so contyneu till such tyme as myn executorus can ethr by marrieg or 
otherwise pvide best for the same. Also I will that George son to my daughter 
Cecil the wch George I have bought the ward and marriaje I will that he be put 
to the schoole and to have all things necessarie and the reversions of his land to be 
saved to the pfit and use of the said George by the discrecon of my said executours. 
And I make Nicholas Riggley Wilm Alessop and Robert Bateman my true and lawful 
executours and that they doo pform this my last will And I make Sir John Aston, 
Knight that hath ben ewer myn espaciall good Mr. myne overseer and to se these things 
aforesaid pformed I will he have c.s. ster to buy him a horse I will my sonne 
Rigley have fyve mks and my son Glossop v. marks Writen the daie an yere 
aforesaid. These Witnesse Sir Reginale Damport John Benet of Berreford and 
Janates Tall with manie others 

Probatum fuit Cath d'ni Pauli London xix. die menz marcii 
Anno Dni millimo quingentesimo vicesimo secundo." 

A few explanatory remarks may be useful here. 

An idea of the value of money may be gathered 
from the fact that the squire leaves his knight, Sir John 
Aston, of Tixall, one hundred shillings to buy him a 
horse. A shilling then purchased as much as half a 
sovereign now. 

The Trentall was a series of masses for thirty days, 
or one on the thirtieth day after the testator's death. 
The Austin friars stood on the Green, at Stafford ; the 

The Half- Way House. y\ 

Grey friars was in Foregate. Hilton Abbey was a poor 
Cistercian house between Leek and Stoke-on-Trent. The 
testator bought part of " The Hole House," at BucknaH, 
in the 5th year of Henry VIII., 1513, and probably 
made it a half-way house between Beresford and En- 
stone, when migrating from summer to winter quarters, 
that is from Beresford in the Moorlands to Enstone. 
Before that purchase he had probably sought a night's 
lodging at Hilton Abbey, hard by, when thus travelling. 

Breston, or Burston, lay between Enstone and Stone, 
where it is evident that the ancient chapel, connected 
by legend with S. Chad, was still being used. It is 
now destroyed. A priest could not have sung at Beres- 
ford three years without a chapel. 

In the Inquisition taken after John Beresford's death 
we have a catalogue of the items of his property. He 
died Jan. 26, 14 Henry VIII., 1523, in a good old age; 
for Robert, his son and heir, was then a man of forty. 
In Warslow he held a messuage and tenement of John 
Mundy in Soke. In Alstonfield two messuages and eighty 
acres of land, and from John Blunt and his wife, relatives 
and heirs of Humphrey Pershall, nineteen pence in rent in 
Soke. In Enstone, a messuage and 220 acres of land of 
the Abbey of Combermere. In Onecote a messuage of 
the Abbey of Hulton and twenty-two pence rent not in 
Soke. In Eves, a messuage called Hole House of 
Humphrey Boothby in Soke, the rent being three shillings 
and one penny. And in Rugeley, Alstonfield, Gurson, 
Sandon, Salt, and Narrowdale, divers tenements and 

The son Richard mentioned in the Will supplies a 

72 Beresford of Beresford. 

long lost link. He would be Richard Beresford, who 
in 1562 died at Gateham Grange, leaving his body to 
be buried in Alstonfield chancel and for a mortuary his 
best horse. His daughters were Joan and Elyn. Joan 
married Matthew Beresford, and the two lived long at 
Gateham Grange. Elyn married Anthony Beresford, of 
the Parwich branch, which is still represented by Mr. 
Samuel Ball Beresford, one of the authors of this little 
history, and others. 

The care of John Beresford — the last of the original 
Johns at Beresford — for religion, as it was then known, 
shews that the impending Reformation was no light 
matter to the family. But they acquiesced in it — 
only one member, and he of the Bentley branch, falling 
away after it to the new Roman Catholic sect, which 
sprang up in the time of Queen Elizabeth. The stately 
pomp of John's funeral is indicated by his Will. A priest 
was to sing three years at Beresford ; where, as we have 
already seen, there must have been a chapel. The 
chaplain of the family now appears to have been a 
cousin, and of the Davenport family. 2 

Robert Beresford married Mary, daughter of John 
Barbour of Flashbrook, Co. Stafford, gent. He seems 
to have increased rather than to have wasted his property. 
He purchased Ash-holme from Richard Beresford and 
John his son in 1533 (D98) and the Inquisition at his 
death, 19 August, 1542, shows that Sampson, his heir, 
was then twenty-two years of age. The latter would 
therefore be born a short time before his grandfather's 

2 Reginalde Davenport, third son of William and Margery Davenport of Bromhall. 
(Ormerocfs Cheshire, III., 827. Ear-Maker's Cheshire, Vol. I. 436.) 

Noels, Astons and Barbours. 73 

death ; and, unless we are mistaken, Robert's marriage 
was the matter which seemed to prove his imprudence in 
his father's eyes. Yet the Barbours of Flashbrook were 
of good standing, and in the reign of Elizabeth bore 
arms: Gules: three mullets Argent, border ermine, a 
dexter canton or. A younger branch was then the owner 
of Hopwas Bridge. The head of the senior branch 
married the heiress of the Jordans of Flashbrook. But 
the fact that he had been barber to the Duke of Buck- 
ingham, and proudly called himself after his profession, 
may have been somewhat offensive to the Beresfords. 

John's objection to the Barber's pedigree is a little 
difficult to understand 3 when viewed in connection with 
his chivalrous devotion to the good knight, Sir John 
Aston, to whom he was esquire. 4 The founder of the 
Astons, great as they became, was Dapifer to an early 
Bishop of Lichfield. But John Beresford's character was 
that of a Tudor gentleman. Pride and piety struggled 
together in it. And no doubt the marriage of his 
daughter Cecil— which name has been hitherto forgotten— 
with Noel of Hilcote, would gratify him as much as 
that of his son to the descendant of " one Brown, who 
was barber to Henry, Duke of Buckingham," as his 
cousin Erdeswick puts it, 5 displeased him. The Noels 
were one of the oldest families of the county, and to 
them the oldest extant Beresford Deed, that of King 
John's time, refers as already noted. 

3 Barbers were Surgeons, and Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, one of the greatest 
men in England. 

4 Sir John Aston, of Tixall, died 1523. His sister married Basset of Blore. 
{Visitation, 1383, H. S. C, III., 38.) 

5 hrdanvick's Survey of Stafford, 105. 


74 Beresford of Beresford. 

The Mundys, now of Markeaton, near Derby, were 
then rising into eminence in Derbyshire. Their ancestor 
had been Lord Mayor of London in the early Tudor 
times and they purchased the Alstonfield estates of the 
fallen Lords Audley, and the rights of the co-parcenors 
in the manor. Vincent Mundy was slain by his son. 
A scrap of glass in Alstonfield church preserves the 
name there ; but their connection with Alstonfield has 
till now been quite forgotten. Judge Harpur bought 
them out in 1 1 Elizabeth for £ 360. 6 

Bassano noted that Robert held the manor of Beres- 
ford under Vincent Mundy, Esquire, as of the manor 
of Alstonfield 7 at a rent of twelve pence. In Warslow 
he held three messuages, one hundred and ten acres of 
land and a rent from them of three shillings and six- 
pence. In Alstonfield he had two messuages, one hundred 
acres and nineteen pence rent ; certain leys in the same 
(yielding) a rose at the Feast of S. John Baptist. In 
Enstone he had a messuage and one hundred and 
twenty acres from James Collier, to whom this property 
of Combermere had been granted at the Dissolution of 
the Abbey in 1538, holding it as of the manor of Yarlet 
at a rent of twopence. In Onecote he had a messuage 
and five acres of land in fee farm under Hulton Abbey. 
In Rugeley, one meadow of the Bishop of Coventry 
and Lichfield in Soke. In Burston, five acres of land 
of Humphrey Stanley as of the manor of Aston in Soke. 
In Sandon, six acres of Sampson Erdeswick for a rose 
rent. In Salt, one acre of Trussell's heirs, Humphrey 
Bingley, gent., and three shillings and one penny in fee. 

6 Final Concords. II. S. C, XIII., 176. 
7 Bassano's MSS., Vol. II., William Salt Library. In. P.M. 

Sampson Beresfords Family. 75 

The next heir, Sampson's, name savours of the con- 
nection with the Erdeswicks, his great-grandmother's family, 
and of life at Enstone. But our Sampson was born in 
1520, and Sampson Erdeswick, the historian of the county, 
was not entered as a gentleman commoner at Brazenose 
College until 1 553-4. Both were named after their 
Sampson Erdeswick ancestors, and both inherited the 
blood of the Staffords, De Verduns, Bassets, Harcourts, 
Audleys, etc., etc., as is somewhat pompously claimed for 
the Erdeswicks on the historian's curious monument in 
Sandon Church. Possibly the choice of the name 
Sampson for their heir by Robert and Mary Beresford 
may have been an attempt to balance the honest blood 
of the ducal barber with the nobler Erdeswick strain. 

Sampson Beresford married Ann, daughter of John 
Morgan of South Maplerton in Dorset, and lived to be 
seventy-three years of age, dying in 1593. His will 
was proved the same year in the Prerogative Court of 
Canterbury. He was blessed with five sons and five 
daughters. Of these, Edward Beresford was the last 
esquire of the elder line who lived at Beresford. Robert, 
the second son, was settled at Enstone in the family 
seat there. Of the daughters, Mary, Margaret, and 
Catherine married neighbouring squires. (See Pedigree.) 
The fourth daughter was drowned in the Trent, pre- 
sumably where it runs narrow and deep, on the low 
land between Enstone and Sandon ; and the fifth 
daughter married Bishop Overall, sometime the eminent 
Bishop of the Diocese, who was translated from Lichfield 
to Norwich. A later connection between Beresford and 
equally conspicuous learning happened nearly a century 

j6 Beresford of Beresford. 

afterwards when a daughter of Charles Cotton, and great- 
great-grandaughter of Edward Beresford, married Dean 
Stanhope, the famous preacher. 

The Chancery Proceedings of Queen Elizabeth's time 
(H. S. C, Vol. IX., new series) throw much light on 
Sampson's life. No. 58 tells us that he was lawfully- 
seized of a pasture called Bull Heys in Bucknall, and 
that there he put divers horses, mares, colts, and geld- 
ings at Pentecost, 1565. In August one of his mares, 
well worth ten pounds, broke forth from the said pasture 
and in ' strakyng' towards Sampson's pastures at Enston, 
where she had been reared, got into the fields of John 
Bolton who killed her. The accused replied that he 
found her dead in the highway and that she was not 
worth more than five marks. And No. 70 is the record 
of a contest for a farm at Overelsyde, on the moors 
between Warslow and Leek. This, says Sampson, was 
part of the manor of Warslow, and had fifty years before 
been obtained as copyhold by William Basford or Beres- 
ford and Joan his wife, who had given it over to 
Robert Beresford, Sampson's father, who held it till his 
death then 27 years ago. In 1565 also, Sampson was 
summoned by George Broughton, alias Smythe, of Brere- 
ton, gent., to defend his title to ten messuages, six 
cottages, a mill, three hundred acres of arable land, fifty 
acres of meadow, three hundred acres of pasture, and 
forty acres of marsh at Rugeley, Armitage, etc. These, 
he said, had been bought by his grandfather, and held 
in trust for Cecily, wife of Thomas Broughton, George's 
father, and that much of the present trouble was due 
to George's having no issue and desiring to waste the 

Sampson Beresford s Will. 77 

property. But he, Sampson, was the rightful owner and 
would keep it till the contrary was proved- 

Sampson Beresford was Marshal of the County of 

Stafford. His Will will be interesting. It is as follows : 

"In the Name of God Amen. The 8 Feb. 1593, and 33 Q. Elizabethe. 
I Sampson Beresford of Enston in the Countie of Stafforde, Esquyer beinge in in- 
different goode healthe of bodye and also of very goode and perfecte remembrance 
thanks be given to God therefore And waying that according to the generall decree 
appointed to all mankinde that every one must once dye and therefore deathe certein 
and to be expected for all And for that the time thereof is most uncertein and unknowne 
to every one for whiche causes haveing also a carefull consideracon for the bestowing 
of all my goods chattells cattells & Household stuffe plate and suche other things 
as it hathe pleased Almightie God to send me in this worlde farre above my deserts 
and for avoyding of suche strife as otherwise mighte happeley fall amonges my 
cnildien for or aboute the same after my deathe if I should not sett downe order in 
that behalfe in my Lyfe time Doe for the consideracons above menconed ordayne 
and make this my testament conteyning therein my last will in manner and forme 
followinge that is to saye ffirst and before all things I yealde upp and bequeathe my 
Sowle to Almightie God my Maker and Redeemer. And next my bodye to the 
earthe to be buryed in suche parte of Christian buriall as to my Ex'ors shall seem 
expedient and meete. Item. I give and bequeathe to Edward Beresford my eldeste 
son all my Armor to his owne use. And in like manner I give to the same Ed. 
warde all my plate, all my silver spoones oneley excepted. Item. All such debts as I 
shall fortune to owe to any person or persons at the time of my decease and for 
whiche I shall not take other sufficient order in my Lyfe time being duely paide 
owte of my wholle goods and chattells remayninge not hereby bequeathed and also 
my funerall expenses being discharged owte of the saide wholle rest and remnent I 
will then that my goods and chattells and silver spoons remayning after the sayde 
debts paide and funerall expenses discharged as aforesaid shall be delivered by my 
Ex'ors to my foure younger sonnes that is to saye Robert, Walter, John and George, 
and to my grandchilde Jane Dixwell beinge an orphane. And my meaninge and will 
is that the same last menconed remayning goods shall first before they be delivered 
as aforesaid be by the discrecon of twoe at the Least of my neere kinsfolkes and 
by my said Ex'ors divided into rive equall partes. And then every one of my saide 
foure younger sonnes and the saide Jane Dixwell to have each of them one of 
the saide equall partes of the same goodes in theire nature and kindes and not to 
have the same goodes 'praised and my Ex'ors to pay them in money. 

Item. I doe give and bequeathe to my daughter Catherine Lea to whome I 
heretofore gave the some of twenty poundes which I paide to the handes of Sir Walter 
Aston, Knte, deceased, to and for the use of her husband, George Lea, and herselfe 
40s. viz. : 20s. to her owne use and 20s. to be equallie distributed amonges her 
children. And to my daur. Margaret Burne whome I have already preferred in mar- 

78 Beresford of Beresford. 

riage, one of my saide silver spoones as oneley a Remembrance of fatherly good Will 
towards her. 

Item. I give to John Burne sonne of the saide Margaret 10s. And to 
Walter Beresford sonne to my saide sonne Robert Beresford other 10s. I give and 
bequeathe to my cosen John Barbor one grey filly whiche nowe is twoe yeares olde 
and upwards. And I doe ordaine my saide twoe sonnes Edward Beresford and John 
Beresford my Ex'ors of this my Will. 

In Witness hereof hereunto I have putt my seale the saide 8 Feb. 33 yeare 
abovesaide Revoking hereby all former wills by me made 

Witnesses hereunto: John Barbour, "Byrne" Edward Beresford, Walter Beresford, 
John Beresford, George Beresford, James Phillippes and Robert Hancocke. 

Probatum fuit London 2 July 1593 by Edward Beresford and 
John Beresforde. 

His seal, on an original Deed belonging to Mr. 
J. H. White, bears a Bear, chained and collared, etc. 
But on one of his deeds preserved amongst the Beres- 
ford papers he seals with a bear's paw as a crest ; and 
the visiting herald of 1583 gives his arms as argent 
three bears rampant sable, muzzled, or. But it seems clear 
that the old three bears were then being abandoned for 
a single bear. Yet Laurence Beresford, great grandson 
of Hugh, brother of the Canon, erecting a monument to 
his father and Hugh in Bentley Church as late as 1607, 
kept the three bears with a mullet for difference. 

Edward Beresford was escheator to the County of 
Stafford, 44 Eliz. He buried his first wife, Olyve, in 
Alstonfield chancel, December 17, 1583, and married 
Dorothy, fifth daughter and co-heiress of Aden, head of 
the Bentley Beresfords ; and when that family died out 
strangely in the reign of James I., he shared their large 
possessions with the sisters of his wife and with the Beres- 
fords of Newton Grange. He is shown by an original 
Deed, executed by Sampson Beresford of Enstone and 
Edward Beresford of Beresford, to have lived at Beres- 
ford during his father's life. He seems to have re- 

Wedding in 1608. 79 

moved on succeeding to his wife's patrimony to the old 
hall at Fenny Bentley, a much warmer place than Beres- 
ford. Here he kept house, and here his only daughter 
and heiress, Olive, who was baptized at Alstonfield, 
December 29, 1592, was married to Sir John Stan- 
hope of Elvaston, Knight, the ancestor, by a second 
wife, of the Earls of Chesterfield and Harrington, 
29 September, 1608, S. Michael's Day, at Bentley, when 
the bride was but fifteen. The sermon was preached 
by Robert Abbott, D.D., elder brother of Abbott, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and was printed in London by 
Roger Jackson dwelling in Fleet Street, 1608. It is 
dedicated to " the right worshipfull Sir John Stanhope, 
Knight, the Father of the Bridegroom, my most loving 
and good patron." The text is Amos iii., 3. "Can 
two walke together except they bee agreed ? " and it 
sets forth " I. The Spirituall conjunction betwixt God 
and Man," and " II. The Corporall marriage betwixt 
man and woman." Dr. Abbott had been presented to 
the rich living of Bingham, Co. Notts., about 1588. 
He was Master of Balliol, 1609, Regius Professor of 
Divinity, Oxon, 16 12, Bishop of Salisbury, 161 5, and 
died in 16 17. 

The mode of celebrating this wedding may be com- 
pared with that of the funeral of 1523, both in the 
same Church, that of England, and family. But the 
pomp of the pre-reformation service has now given way 
to the preaching of the advancing Puritan age. 

Beresford Hall was now practically deserted by the 
Beresfords, and the property, including the two forester- 
ships of Malbanc Frith Forest, was made over to 

So Beresford of Beresford. 

Trustees for the use of Lady Stanhope and her heirs. 
(H. S. C, n. s. IV., p. 8 ) 8 This, the last mention of 
the foresterships, closes a long stretch of history. And 
perhaps there was a reason for Edward's finally quitting 
Beresford hall for Bentley. For about the year 1590, 
the lay rectors had pulled down the old chancel at 
Alstonfield and its aisles, and had no doubt so destroyed 
and scattered its monuments as to create a family feud. 
Olive, Lady Stanhope, and her mother, Dorothy 
Beresford, both died in 16 13 and were buried at Fenny 
Bentley, and Edward followed her to rest there, June 6, 


The Will of Edward Beresford, the last of his 
line who was lord of Beresford, is dated 3 June, 1620, 
and was proved November 27 of the next year. He 
says : — 

" I Edward Beresford of ffenny Bentley in the Countie of Derby Esquire being 

sicke in body will my bodie to be buried in the chancell of Fenny Bentlie 

betweene my daughter's grave and the wall. 

Item. I give to Richard Beresford sonne of Robert Beresford gent, my brother 
deceased the yearlie Rent of thirteene shillings and fourpence. . . . yssueing out of one 
messuage or Tenement at Creleyside in the parish of Bucknall and nowe or late in the 
tenure of John Murhall or William Murhall theire or one of theire assignes and the 
reversion of the same Tenement or messuage with all and singular lands tenements 
and appurtenances whatsoever together also with one peece of meadow lying in Old- 
ington neere Ridgeley in the Countie of Stafford now in the tenure of Widowe Hareley 
To have and to hold the saide Rent Residence and Meadow groundes unto the said 
Richard Beresford and his assignes from the day of my decease for and during all 
the end and terme of ffower score yeares from thence next and ymmediatly following 
fully to be compleat and ended yf the sd Richard shall soe longe live. 

8 39 Elizabeth. Edward Beresford is complainant and Ralph Vernon and Margery 
his wife are deforciants of 12 messuages, 4 cottages, 5 tofts, 16 gardens, 100 acres of 
lands, 50 acres of meadow, 200 acres of pasture, 6 acres of wood, 200 acres furze and 
heath, in Waterfall, and w'ns his case. The Vernons claimed through the Newton 
Grange Beresfords. Their claim was renewed in 40 Elizabeth, and again settled by 
Edward paying .£400. (Final Concords, H. S. C, Vol. XVI., 162, 178.) See below 
in Part II. the fight at Waterfall between Smith and Lord. 

The Beresford Pew is seen through the Middle Arch. 

(Tohn Beresford, whose name as a Churchwarden, responsible for the carving, 
is on the pew near the pulpit, was almost the last gentlemen o the name who 
pT In the vill^e He was the son of Lawrence whose initials and 159° are 
on the Chanc U and grandson of John coffered 1584, which last John seems to 
have been the brother 5 the founder of the Irish branch; not as on page 67, the 
son of Hugh but of his brother Humphry.) 

Edward Beres/ord's Will, 1621. 81 

Item. I give and bequeathe to Robert Ferinhoughe sometime servant ;£io. To 
Thomas Frost my servant the yearlie rent of fower markes of lawfull Englishe money to 
be yearlie yessuing and paide out of all that messuage or Tenement with appurtenances 
in Waterfall in the Countie of Stafford nowe in the tenure of Thomas Smyth or his 
assigns and out of all lands, meadows, leases, pastures and grounds thereunto belonging 
used, and occupied, or in anywise appertayning for four score yeares. To Ann Lant 
for her paines taken with my grandchild, trusting shee will be as carefull of her 
bringing upp duering her service as formerly shee hath, the some of ^20. Item. I 
give and bequeathe to John Bullock my servant ,£5 an< ^ to Mary Bullock his wif 
one cow or heiffer being either in calfe or with a calve at her foote. Item. To my 
nephew John Dixwell £3. To Thomas and William Wall my servants £$ to be 
equallie divided betwixt them. Item. To every man and woman servant that shall 
serve me at my decease and having then served me twoe yeares faithfully and truely 
and not having any other legacie hereby given them tenne shillings apeece. Item. I 
give to Anthony Mellor the yearly rent of 13,'- fouve pence to be yerrely yssuing and 
paid out of all that messuage or tenement in Waterfall aforesaide in the occupacion of 
W r illiam Ford or his assignes and out of all the landes pastures and groundes thereunto 
belonging for a terme of fortie yeares. Item. I give to James Thacker my servant 
^3. Item, to my godson Edward Plant 10/-, To my god daughter Mrs. Mary Milward 
40/- To my sheappde Shawe 10/- To John Cravene 5s. To olde good wiffe Briddon 
5s. To Sir John Stanhope, Knight, my loving sonne in lawe my best horse. To my 
faithful] and loving Kinsmann John Milhvard, Esq. ^5. To Ollive Stanhope my grand 
childe and heir all and singuler my Landes, tenements, goodes, Debtes, chattells, duties 
and demands not hereby bequeathed and given — to have and to hold the same unto 
the saide Olive Stanhope her heires and assignes for ever. I nominate the saide Sir 
John Stanhope and John Millward to be my trusty and faithful executors of this my 
Last Will . . not doubting but that they will see the same performed and kept, 
unto whose discrecons I refer the disposition of all blacke and other necessaries 
Signed in presence of Robert Butler, William Scoke, John Bullocke, sd Edward 

The headship of the Family now devolved upon the 
Enstone branch, and after them upon that settled at 
Newton Grange. 

"Richard Bearisford " of Enstone, gent., the brother 
of Edward, died in 1640, and by his Will directed his 
body to be buried in Sandon Church. He left to his 
loving wife, Timison, £20, to Isabel, Olive and Margaret, 
his daughters, and to Richard, his son, £\o each, with 
remainder to his wife and children. The value of his 
estate was ^199 15s. od., and the farm at Salt seems 

82 Beresford of Beresford. 

to have belonged to him. Of his children, Richard 
and Olive both died childless. Margaret married — 
Wheywell, and Isabel is thus commemorated in Sandon 
Church : " Isabell ye daughter of Richard BerisFord of 
Enstone, Gent, and Thomasin his wife who had two 
husbands, John Selvester, yeom 11- and Robert Palmer, 
Gent. She Departed this Life y e 19 th of March, 1695. 
She was the last branch of that worthy Ancient ffamily. 
She was 71." Robert Palmer died in 1711. 

The old lady was mistaken, however. The " Ancient 
ffamily" certainly did not become extinct in 1695. 
Captain John was then its head. He had left Newton 
Grange as a residence, but had bought back Beresford 
Hall. At Brownhills, now Warslow Hall, a branch had 
long been seated and was presently to merge by the 
marriage of its heiress, Dorothie, only daughter of Samuel 
and Ann Beresford, baptized 1705, with young William 
Gould of Pilsbury and Hanson. Gateham Grange was 
the old home of a dignified line which was then about 
migrating to London. The Birchover and Parwich 
Beresfords still flourished ; and before the end of the 
eighteenth century, their distant cousin, the enterprizing 
Charles Roe of Macclesfield, became the means of 
establishing a scion of the Beresfords at Bosley Works, 
in Cheshire. True that the Alstonfield rectorial leases 
had run out, but the descendants of John and Laurence 
were not extinct. And in 1705, William Beresford, who 
left the old estates at Waterfall when the Cottons were 
breaking up and had bought lands at Ipstones Park, died 
at the age of 116. And in Ireland another branch was 
rising into high eminence. 


Cbarles Cotton, tbc Elfcer. 

IR John Stanhope, the younger, was knighted by- 
James I. at Whitehall, June 4, 1607, the year 
before his marriage with Olive Beresford He 
was Knight of the Shire for Derbyshire, 18 James I., and 
also in the first Parliament of Charles I. and for Leicester 
two years later. His only child by this first marriage 

was Olive; and in 16 14 he lost his wife. Blore notes that 
she died January 29, 16 if, and was buried February 29. 
This, however, could scarcely be. Sir John married a 
second time. In 1629, he was Sheriff of Derbyshire, and 
after his death in 1638 a monument costing ^600 was 
erected by his widow. It is recorded that so greatly did 
Sir John Gell of Hopton dislike him that in the confu- 
sions of the year 1642, Gell damaged his monument, 
dickered up his flowers and — married his widow. 

This animosity was not merely political. When 
John Gell was yet one of the most zealous collectors of 
ship-money in Derbyshire he made the most rigorous 
exactions from Sir John Stanhope. There must have 
been an element of romance in the matter which perhaps 
his marriage of the widowed Lady Mary Stanhope 
explains. Both Sir Johns were connected by marriage 
with the Beresfords — Sir John Stanhope, as we know ; 
and the redoubtable Roundhead General through his 
grandfather, who had married a daughter of the Newton 

84 Beresford of Beresford. 

Grange family as a second wife, and through Ralph Gell, 
of Carsington, who in 1574 married Dorothy Beresford, 
daughter of John and Joan Beresford, of Alstonfield. 

Sir John Stanhope lived in great harmony with the 
Beresfords, and several deeds in the Beresford documents 
relate to him. In the year 16 14 we find him giving 
a bond to defend John Beresford of Newton Grange 
against any action which William Atkinson of the Inner 
Temple might bring against the said John as executor 
of Thomas Beresford lately deceased. Here we touch 
a chapter of our family history of great interest and 
importance ; but, though it shews how Edward Beresford 
obtained his foothold at Fenny Bentley, we must defer 
its full narration till we have to detail the events con- 
nected with the strange extinction of the Fenny Bentley 
branch of the house of Beresford. 

The only daughter of Sir John and the Lady Olive 
Stanhope was her mother's heiress. She was wooed and 
won by Charles Cotton, a middle-aged gentleman of 
fashion ; but the match displeased Sir John ; and Cotton 
had thus to defend himself: — 

"The Several Answeare of Charles Cotton, Esquire, 
to the Bill of Complaynt of Sir John Stanhope,; Knight, 
"This defendant is desirous with an humble submission, to pacifye the Com- 
plainaunt's displeasure, and to stirre up his fatherly affection by all posible respects of 
obedience, and not to justifie or excuse his actions, in hope that the complaynaunt 
would be pleased to accept of his submission and to remit what is past upon triall 
to be made of this defendant's dutifull and respectfull demeanor towards him in tyme 
to come which the Defendant doth by himselfe and his Wyfe .(the Complaynaunt's 
childe) in ackncvledginge his error and declaring that he is heartilie penitent for the 
same, and alsoe oy the entreaty of many Honourable Friends this Defendaunt hath en- 
deavoured to attaine and in obedience to the processe of this most Honourable Courte 
(saving to himself all advantage of exception to the insufficiency of the saide Bill) for 
Answeare to the same sayeth that he hopeth to make it appear to this Honourable 

A Runaway Match. 85 

Courte and to the Complaynaunt that he is not of soe poore meanes and estate as the 
Complaynaunt hath binne informed. For this Defendaunt sayeth that he is the sonne 
and heire of Sir George Cotton, late of Bedhampton, in the Countye of Southampton, 
Knight, and of Cassandra, his wyfe, whoe was one of the daughters and co-heires of 
Henry Mack-Williams, of Stanburn Hall, in the Countye of Essex, Esquire, sometyme 
one of the honourable band of pensioners to the late Queen e of ffamous memory, Queene 
Elizabeth. So that this Defendaunt hopeth that neither this horourable Courte nor the 
Complaynaunt will conceave that any disparagement canne redound to the Complaynaunt 
or his Daughter by marriage with this Defendaunt. And further sayeth that hee had an 
estate in Landes of Inheritance and Rents left unto him of the yearly value of one 
thousand markes or thereabouts. And if the same be not equivalent or proportionable 
to the Complaynaunt's Daughter's estate, this Defendaunt doubteth not but to supply 
any wants thereof by his affectionate love to his wyffe and respectfull observation of 
suche a ffather. And this Defendaunt further sayeth that he did not know that the said 
Olive was under the age of sixteene yeares, but was credibly informed she was of 
the age of sixteene yeares, nor knowe what inheritance was descendable upon the 
Complaynaunt's Daughter (now this Defendaunt's Wyfe) at the tyme that he sought to 
obtayne her for his wyfe ; his affections being more fixed upon her person and the 
Allyance of soe noble a ffamilye than upon her estate ; neither did he knowe that she 
was to have the landes in the bill mentioned, or what other landes she was to have 
either by disent or conveyance. But this Defendaunt sayeth that it is true that under- 
standinge of the virtuous disposition of the Complaynant's Daughter, and receavinge 
satisfaction of the good report hee had heard by the sight of her person, hee did by 
all possible meanes address himselfe to intimate unto her his desires, and having the 
opportunity to meet with her att the house of one of her Aunts, hee, this Defendaunt 
did in short tyme discover her affection towards this Defendaunt and thereupon hee was 
emboldened to proceede to move her in the way of marriage. And there were some 
Messages interchanged betweyn them, whereby she signified her readiness to answer 
this Defendaunt's desires therein and the difficulty to obtaine her but by carrying of her 
away. And did herselfe appointe to come to this Defendaunt if hee could come for 
her ; whereupon he prepared a coache and in the evening of the Daye in the bill 
mentioned hee came in a coache neere unto Salisburye Courte, where the Complaynaunt 
dwelleth. And this Defendaunt's now wyfe came of her own accorde to this Defend- 
aunt and the same night he confesseth that they were married together and ever 
since cohabited together as Husband and Wyfe, in doing whereof if this Defendaunt's 
passion and fervancy of affection have transported him beyond the bounds of wisdom, 
dutye and good discretion, this Defendant doth most humbly crave the pardon and 
favourable construction of this most honourable Courte and of the Complaynaunt con- 
cerning the same. But as concerninge any Riot or Riotouse assembly this Defendaunt 
sayeth that he attended his Wyfe comming unto him beinge accompanyed onely with 
his ordinary attendance other than one gent, that was in his company and the ministc 
wh marryed them (being the Defendaunt's Kinsman) neither were they armed with any 
Pistolls, or otherwise than at other tymes they usually walked. And concerning the 
obtaining and suinge out of the Licence in the bill mentioned or procuring Nicholas 
Butler and Richard Edmonds in the bill named or either of them or anye other to make 
the oath in the bill mentioned, this Defendant sayeth that hee never knew that any 

86 Beresford of Beresford. 

oathe was made but by Reporte and that long after the same was done, nor ever saw 
the faces of the said Butler nor Edmonds to his knowledge, nor knoweth what they 
weare or who produced them, nor ever made anie use of the said License. And to all 
and everie one the subornacions of perjurye, unlawfull practises, or Conspiracyes, Riotts 
or riotous Assemblyes or any other offence in and bye the said Bill or complaynt layde 
to the charge of this Defendaunt (except onely the marryinge of the sayde Complayn- 
aunt's daughter) in such sorte as formerly is expressed — Hereby this Defendaunt sayeth 
that hee is not of them or anie of them guiltye in suche as in and bye the saide Bill 
is declared. And humbly prayeth by the ffavour of this Honble Courte to be dismissed 
from any further attendance herein." — Old Family MSS. 

" Charles Cotton," says Clarendon in his own Life, 
"for many years continued the greatest ornament of the 
town. His natural parts were very great, his wit flow- 
ing in all parts of conversation He had all those 

qualities which in youth raise men to the reputation of 
being fine gentlemen ; such a pleasantness and gaiety of 
humour, such a sweetness and gentleness of nature and 
a civility and delightfulness in conversation, that no man, 
in the Court or out of it, appeared a more accomplished 
person : all these extraordinary qualifications being sup- 
ported by as extraordinary a clearance of courage, and 
fearlessness of spirit of which he gave too often mani- 
festation. Some unhappy suits in law and waste of 
his fortune in those suits made some impression on his 

mind Those indulgences to himself, which naturally 

attend afflictions, rendered his age less reverenced than 
his youth had been, and gave his best friends cause to 
wish that he had not lived so long." 

Olive, wife of Charles Cotton the elder, has left a 
letter 1 behind her which will perhaps show whence her 
famous son, Charles Cotton the younger, drew some of 
his kindly sprightliness. The letter runs thus : — 

I Now in the possession of Mr. R. Seddon, of Alstonfield, whose father found 
it in Beresforc Hall when tenant there. 

A Quaint Letter. 87 

" Honbst Will. I wonder I heard not from you the last vreek upon the 
accompt of my rents. Pray get soe much money and brew the halfe hogshead of 
stronge beare and set it in the little house and one hogshead of small which will 
hold 4 strickes of mault 2 for the Strong and 2 for the Small and I desire your 
wife to do mee the favoure as to brew it herselfe ; remember to doe it speedyle 
before hott weather comes for I shall bee verie speedily in the cuntrie. Send me 
Tack's height that I may buy his coats fitt and the height of my own Chamber that 
I may fitt my bed. Desire yonr wife to looke in the trunk where my worke lies 
and send me one that is fully finished, and one that is not, of the Quishions in 
Irish worke; and the broad piece of quishion canvis 2 yards broad that is un- 
wrouo-ht ; let me know how my gardens prosper ; and tell John gardiner that if I 
do not find my gardens in ample maner when I come, that he and I shall not 
bee friends. Bid him send word if hee would have anything sent down for them. 
Mr. Upton 3 remembers him to you and your wife and desires to know whether his 
Mare has been brought in bed or noe ; and I desire to know how my black dam- 
sell doth. Pray get your own horses in good case in case I send for you or 
you are to meet mee ; remember mee to all my friends but especially to Hayes, 
John Basset, 3 Die Ball and tell him I will bring his Cognizance with mee. Let us 
get the blew coate where wee can. Desire your nephew to looke in my trunke 
of bookes and there you shall finde a large booke in writing with a parchment cover 
blotched on one side with inke towards the nooke of it; it's of preserving and con- 
serving and send it upp by this bearer; by whom I think I shall send you further 
news of my coming downe ; if Mr. Parker be not the cause; but however do 
what I have desir'd. Send me word what's become of that gratious elfe Pue. 

Soe I rest, my blessing to the two, and ,.',-. 

Your loving Mns 

Olive Cotton. 

Comrades that keep 

the rabbits Jack and bill bind. 

Maye the ioth 1650." 

The " rhryme and rattle " of the letter characterize 
the mother of the poet. 

We come now to notice practical traces of the 
pecuniary troubles which began to undo the family and 
to disperse the old estates of the Beresfords. The 
Will of Edmund Beresford of Cannock, gent, in 1644, 
says that he bought an annuity of ^20 a year from 

a " 1665. Buried W. Upton, serving man at Barsett Hall."— Alston field Register. 
3 The miller at Beresford. The mill was in the Dale just below Pike Pool. 
The sound of the wheel would often be heard at the Hall. John the miller >vas 
buried September 4, 1667. His son Robert said he was ninety-five years old. 

88 Beresford of Beresford. 

his worthy cousin, Charles Cotton, for the latter's life. 
In 4 Charles I. Charles Cotton of Notts, and Olive 
demised lands to W. Grindon for ninety-nine years from 
the demise of Sir John Stanhope. In 165 1 they sold a 
farm at Warslow to John Waine of Warslovv, yeoman, 
for .£200. In 1658 Charles Cotton levied a fine to 
George Parker of Weston Coyney and Thomas Jolly of 
Lockwood, Co. Staff., on a moiety of the manor of 
Overingdean (Ovingdean) Co. Sussex ; twelve messuages, 
one hundred acres pasture, twenty acres meadow, twenty 
acres furze and heath in Waterfall, Co. Staff. ; Watercorn 
Mill at Beresford ; twenty-two messuages, four hundred 
acres of land, fifty acres of meadow, one hundred acres 
of pasture, and five hundred acres of furze and heath 
in Alstonfield, Beresford, Warslow, Hayesyate, Ashholme, 
Ferniford, Grindon, Oncotte, Enson, Rugeley, Stoke-on- 
Trent, and Bucknall ; three messuages, one hundred acres 
of land, twenty acres of meadow, one hundred acres of 
pasture, and two hundred acres of furze and heath in 
Hartington, Heathcote, Biggin, and Wolfscote, Co, Derby; 
and all those closes in Fenny Bentley called the Carr, 
the Swallow Well, the Little Field, Carr Meadow, 
Bentley Field and Mill Close, and all other messuages 
and lands in Fenny Bentley save such as were in 
jointure to Lady Mary Gell, late the wife of Sir John 
Stanhope, Knight, deceased, to raise ,£1,000 for the 
debts of Olive, wife of Charles Cotton, and .£3,000 to 
pay his debts. The money was raised. That year he 

Cotton died in 1658, his only child, Charles, having 
been born at Beresford, April 28, 1630. The story of 

Charles Cotton, Wit, Poet, and Angler. 89 

the latter's life is a mingled tale of brilliance and gloom. 
His genius burned brightly, but debt pressed heavily. 

November 22, 1659. Mrs. Ellen Waklein, waiting 
gentlewoman to Mrs. Charles Cotton of Beresford, was 
buried at Alstonfield. 

(Tbarlcs Cotton, tbe younger. 

EACE and Good Neighbourhood might have 
been the motto of Beresford Hall in olden 
times, but in the days of Charles Cotton, the 
younger, there came some exception to the rule. 

Descended from Sir Richard Cotton, 4 Comptroller of 
the Household and Privy Councillor to Edward VI., 
and connected with the families of Stanhope, Wotton, 
Aston, Cokaine, Port, and Russell, his father was a 
friend of rare Ben Jonson, Selden, Donne, and other 
men of genius, including the great Lord Clarendon, but 
he owed most of all under Providence to his mother, 
Olive Stanhope. She was a woman of rare beauty, 
gentleness, and intellect. Sir Aston Cokayne wrote of her : 

"She was too good to live and young to die." 

The letter before quoted shews the kindly human 
feeling and delight with which she looked forward to 
coming down to Beresford in May, 1650. But the 
coming was alas to die. Born before J 6 14, she must 
in 1650, have been near her thirty-eighth and last year. 
She was buried at Fenny Bentley, but a break in the 

4 Of whom much may be read in Strype's Annals. 
We are much indebted to Sir Harris Nicolas's admirable Lift of Walton and 
Cotton, for the main facts of Cotton's life. 


90 Beresford of Beresford. 

Register from 1642 to 1660 deprives us of the exact 

Her son Charles was then twenty years of age. 
He was educated partly under Mr. Ralph Rawson, of 
Brazenose College, Oxford, and partly at Cambridge. 
To Mr. Rawson, "his dear tutor," he dedicated later a 
translation of an ode by Johannes Secundus, and Rawson 
replied " to his dear and honoured patron Mr. Charles 
Cotton." Cotton read the Italian, French and other 

" D'Avila, Bentivoglio, Guicciardine, 
And Machiavil the subtile Florentine, 
In their originals I have read through, 
Thanks to your library and unto you." 

said Sir Aston Cokayne to him, and his library was 
well known. It was much more than "the shelf or 
two of volumes given to him or bought because he 
wanted them," as described in The Antiquary, March, 
1 90 1. Some still remain, e.g. : — Jo/m Cleveland Revived, 
1659 ; Cotgraves's French and English Dictionary, with 
Cotton's notes, 1650; Flicknoe's E?iigmatical Characters, 
1665; Sir Thomas More, 1627; Quarles' Divine Fancies, 
1660; a volume of Suetonius, 1544, given him by Lord 
Chesterfield; Works by John Taylor, 1630; Rupinus 
Renatus ; Reflections on Aristotle s Poesv, 1674; Plutarch's 
Lives ; these have his name in them, and several that 
also of his daughter Katherine. 

When twenty years of age he wrote a poem on 
Henry, Lord Hastings, and thenceforth continued to 
write, with an ever abounding pleasantry and joyousness. 
He wrote, he says, because in the loneliness of his 

Local Disagreements 91 

Moorlands home at Beresford, he read so much. But 
why was he so lonely when, as we have seen, his 
relatives abounded on every side? His own answer 
was perhaps a poor compliment to some local friends. It 
seems to reveal ill-feeling. He wrote in 1667 

" But such as I still pray I may not see 
Such craggy, rough-hewn rogues as do not fit 
Sharpen and set but blunt the edge of wit ; 
Any of which, (as fear has a quick eye) 
If through a perspective I chance to spy, 
Though a mile off, I take the alarm and run 
As if I saw the Devil or a Dun ; 
And in the neighbouring rocks take sanctuary 
Praying the hills to fall and cover me ; 
So that my solace lies amongst my grounds 
And my best company's my horse and hounds." 

We can, however, well understand that the staid 
and thrifty members of the Beresford family would view 
with no friendly eye the extravagant carelessness with 
which the Cottons were wasting the ancient patrimony 
of their forefathers. Perhaps "Mad Laurence" made 
himself especially troublesome in Cotton's younger days. 
He was a son of the John Beresford of Alstonfield who 
died in 1607, and was thus either a nephew or a cousin 
of the Laurence Beresford, whose initials " L.B. 1590." 
are on Alstonfield chancel, and between whom and the 
Beresford Hall people, as we have already seen on page 
80, there was cause for estranged feeling. Mad 
Laurence had been a great trouble to his unfortunate 
parents and, possibly in order to prevent him from 
wandering, they willed that he drew the instalments of 
his annuity in Alstonfield church porch. The maddest 

92 Beresford of Beresford. 

trick, however, of which we have any knowledge does 
but illustrate the absence of the Beresford monuments 
from Alstonfield. Laurence buried his father with his 
ancestors there and recorded his name at Fenny Bentley ! 
But we must return to our story. 

When twenty-six years of age, " Charles Cotton of 
Barisford, Esquire, married Mrs. Isabella Hutchinson, 
daughter to the Lady Hutchinson of this p'sh, 5 [S. Mary, 
Nottingham. The banns were] published June ist, 8th, 
and 15th, 1656. Married June 30th, '56: by Aid. 
Tiplady, Witnesse Robert Jackson and Will. Watson." 
Of her he wrote 

" I love her soe 
That my very love creates my woe." 

She was the daughter of Sir Thomas Hutchinson, 
of Owthorpe, Notts., by his second wife, Catherine, 
daughter of Sir John Stanhope, senior, of Elvaston, sister 
of Lord Chesterfield, and cousin to the celebrated Colonel 
Hutchinson, Governor of Nottingham Castle. Isabella 
was also sister of one of the most determined and misan- 
thropic Roundheads of the day ; and yet Cotton passed 
unscathed through the Cromwellian troubles, perhaps, 
because like many a friend of his, he not only clung 
to the seclusion of the Moorlands, but was nearly related 
to the leading rebels of the district. 

This was the darkest period of the Revolution, but 
Cotton preferred the pen to the sword. The armour in 
which the Beresfords of old had sallied forth stood in 
the hall at Beresford amid the traces of falconry and 
trophies of many an exciting chase over Malbanc forest. 

5 S. Mary's Register, Nottingham. 

Archbishop Sheldon. 93 

But a new trophy in the shape of Isaak Walton's fish- 
ing rod was soon to be added. For, like Bishop Ken, 
who had a cottage in Dovedale, and others of name 
and fame, Walton came into the Moorlands and was a 
guest at Beresford, and probably spent the stormiest 
days of the blackest period of the Church of England's 
degradation by the side of the Dove. And when the 
scouts of the enemy were reported from the watch-tower 
at Beresford, well ! there were the caves ! Sheldon, 6 too, 
the future Archbishop and re-organizer of the Church, 
who was a native of Stanton and a distant relative of the 
Cottons through the Beresfords, came no doubt into 
hiding in this neighbourhood in these troublesome times. 
Gilbert Sheldon is sometimes spoken of as the son of a 
menial servant of the Earl of Shrewsbury ; but this is 
clearly erroneous. The Sheldons were a franklyn or 
gentle family living near the Waterfall estates of the 
Beresfords, and several times intermarried with them. 

The Restoration of 1660 brought re-action and called 
back the loyalist fugitives to London. Cotton was, we 
may be sure, anything but an exception to the rule ; 

6 In 1670 Cotton dedicated to the Archbishop a translation of Gerard's History 
of the Life of the Duke of Espernon, with an Epistle dated Beresford, 30 October. 1669. 
He says that the translation had been deferred by a long illness and that previous 
literary work had not been remunerative. His next translation, in 1674, was dedi- 
cated to the Earl of Chesterfield, another relative. This was a busy period. A 
share of The Complete Gamester, The Fair One of Tunis, The Planter's Manual, 
1675, An Ode to Winter, "greatly admired by Wordsworth and Lamb as a triumph 
of jubilant and exuberant fancy," etc., followed. The first edition of Scarrouides, 

or Le Virgil Travestie, a mock poem, which was only too successful, is dated 1664. 
In 1685 he published a translation of Montaigne's Essays, in three volumes, which is 
reckoned a masterpiece. Lord Halifax was delighted with its dedication to him. 
It was probably through Dr. Donne that Walton made the acquaintance of the Cottons. 
The present writer has a book which was given to Walton by Donne, his spiritual 

94 Beresford of Beresford. 

and his gay life there, his tour abroad, his hospitalities 

and convivialities, undermined both his constitution and 

his fortune. He wrote with the freshness and fire of his 

youth, but also, alas, with the fevered corruption of that 

licentious age ; and his need of money as time advanced 

made him too anxious to please the public taste. His 

works are therefore not for modern reading. They shock 

and irritate. But there was something lovable and 

brilliant about his genius. He was by no means an 

immoral or impious man. His pew in Alstonfield Church 

is still conspicuous ; and " Squire Cotton " was for very 

many years a precious memory amongst the villagers 

who would have loathed and scorned a bad man. He 

was a Sabbath keeper, regarding Sunday as of too 

"serious account" for fishing. And he, the friend of 

Sandys, and the "son" of Izaak Walton, wrote of Pride 

and Avarice : 

" I ne'er was tainted yet with either Vice ; 
I never in prosperity 

Nor in the height of all my happiness, 

Scorned or neglected any in distress, 

My hand, my breast, my door, 
Were ever open to the Poor." 

And again of fishing in the Dove 
" Playing at liberty 
And with my Angle upon them 

The all of Treachery 
I ever learn'd to practise and to try." 

Cotton loved planting and the rearing of choice 
fruits, and his "Planters Manual" must have been a 
labour of love. He tried to improve his estate, 7 and 

7 An old letter written by Joseph Marsh, at Matlock, in 1824, shews what was 

Beresford in Cottons time 95 

his pure joy in life by the Dove and thorough know- 
ledge of every stone in the neighbourhood is shewn in 
his description of the journey to Beresford as Piscator 
with Viator in the ever-famous Complete Angler. Another 
sketch of a journey from London, less well known and 
accessible, we may quote here from his Epistle to John 
Bradshaw, Esquire. It shews the genial and rollicking 
squire as he passed through the country : 

"Tuesday at noon at Lichfield town we baited, 
But, there some friends, who that hour had waited, 
So long detain'd me, that my charioteer 
Could drive that night but to Uttoxeter. 
And there, the Wednesday being Market-day 
I was constraint with some kind lads to stay 
Tippling till afternoon, which made it night ; 
When from Hero's tower I saw the light 
Of her flambeaux, and fanci'd as we drave, 
Each rising hillock was a swelling wave, 
And that I swimming was, in Neptune's spight 
To my long long'd-for harbour of delight." 

The hall had been rebuilt in Tudor times, but 
Cotton appears to have gathered up the ruins of the 
fort and on the keep of the old castle rebuilt a tower, 

happening at Beresford when the younger Cotton succeeded his father. It says: 
" Richard Marsh's father, William, was the first that came out of Lancashire. He 
found employ as a labourer for Mr. Cotton at Beresford. He builded the old 
Hurst house upon the Common or Waste as it was ihen ; and with the help of his lads 
enclosed and improved the land that lies between the Rough Sitch and Double Dytch, 
namely Barley Yard, Horse Park, Pringle Knowl bottom, Pringle Knowl, Longleys, the 
two Backside closes, Milking Pleck, Top oth Bonk, Browside, and Meadow. I will 
shew thee what young Mr. Bateman copied out of Alstonfield Register. 1661. 24 Feby. 
Baptised Richard, son of William Marsh of Beresford Hurst. This was Richard, who 
lived and died at Woolscote, childless. 1666 Ann. This came to be old Nann of 
Brownhill. 1670. Ellen. Now this was her that married Richard Bestwick, he that 
was so very strong and very clumsy, of whom we have heard many anecdotes."— MS. 
penes Mr. Seddon. 

96 Beresford of Beresford. 

nominally to hold a beacon to light him home at night : 
really, doubtless, to keep watch and ward. The beacon- 
lio-ht would be no new thing ; and the tall tower simply 
a debased reproduction of that which had stood there 
before in the days when Beresford swayed Malbanc 
Forest stretching away westwards. Sir Aston Cokayne 

"Your Basford house you have adorned much, 
And Bentley hopes it shortly shall be such ; 
Think on't and set but Bentley in repair, 
To both those Basfords you would show y' heir." 

But, strange fate, though Beresford hall is now 
quite cleared away, a substantial tower-like corner of 
Bentley still stands. There Edward, the last Squire of 
Beresford died. The Cottons never seem to have 
occupied it themselves, but to have let it to Sir Symon 
Degge. Olive Stanhope, it will be remembered, inherited 
Beresford through her father and Bentley through her 
mother. Another portion of the large estates of her 
maternal grandfather, Aden Beresford, fell to the Beres- 
fords of Newton Grange ; and a third portion went to 
the Beresfords of the Dale, a retired valley near Ash- 
bourne, and thenceforth a branch of the Dale family 
migrated to Birchover. The old hall at Bentley, occupied 
by the Degges, was eventually sold by the Cottons. 
The " new hall " at Bentley was built and fitfully 
occupied by the Beresfords who had removed from 
Newton Grange to Ashbourne, and who have continued 
to bury sometimes at Bentley till the present time. 

But Sir Symon Degge deserves more than a passing 
notice. In 1581 Joan Bagnold, niece we presume of 


Connection of Degge, Bagnal, and Sleigh. 97 

the famous Sir Ralph Bagnal of Leek, and sister of 
John Bagnolde 8 of Alstonfield, married George Crychloe 
of Hartington at Alstonfield Church. Their daughter 
married Thomas, father of Sir Symon Degge ; and Joan 
Bagnolde's brother John married Agnes, daughter of 
Richard Beresford of Alstonfield, November 5, 1583. 
Sir Symon had thus a manifold interest in the Beresfords 
when he became tenant of their old manor house at 
Fenny Bentley, and found it full of memorials of its 
former occupiers, from Thomas, the Agincourt hero, 
downwards. Of these treasures he made good use as 
we saw in our earlier pages. But again we must hark 
back to our story. 

Beresford hall was a mansion built of the stone of 
the neighbourhood, with long and 'short free-stone quoins. 
Over the door and in some of the windows was the 
Beresford bear rampant. The door opened into a large 
hall with a fireplace at the western or left hand end of 
it, surmounted by antlers and curiously carved work in 
oak, and having three coats of arms and some inscrip- 
tions not now recoverable. At the other end three 

8 The old MS. volumes in the Salt Library state that John Bagnolde of 
Alstonfield was Sir Ralph's nephew. Dorothy daughter of John and Agnes Bagnolde 
in 1605 married Richard, son of Matthew and Joan Beresford of Gateham, The 
latter Joan being daughter of Richard Beresford of Gateham, mentioned on page 72. 
This Richard and Dorothy (married in 1605) became the parents of Joan (who 
married Laurence Sleigh of Biggin Grange) and of the Rev. John Beresford, Rector 
of Radbome (who married Mary Pole of Radborne and Newborough) and also of the 
Rev. Dr. Richard Beresford, of Wingfield, who is well remembered by the Sleigh 
family. Mores Pedigree is incorrect in making Richard (father of the doctor) son of 
Bernard. He was the second son of Matthew, of Gateham Grange, and was baptised 
at Alstonfield in 1577. There also his children were baptised; and there he was 
buried in 1645. All this is clear by comparing the Will of this Richard with Sir 
Symon Degge's part of the Bassano Volumes in the Salt Library, and with the 
Alstonfield registers. 


98 Beresford qf Beresford. 

steps led into a small room called the Green Parlour, 
part of which, partitioned off, was Cotton's Study. 9 Of 
this he pleasantly wrote to Sir Clifford Clifton, M.P., 

11 I start from my couch, where I lay dull and muddy, 
Of my servants enquiring the way to my study, 
For in truth of late days, I so little do mind it, 
Should one turn me twice about, I never should find it : 
But by help of direction, I soon did arrive at 
The place where I used to sit fooling- in private. 
So soon as got thither, I straight fell to calling, — 
Some call it invoking, but mine was plain bawling : — 
I call'd for my Muse, but no answer she made me. 
I knew 1 there left her, and lock'd her so safe in, 
There could be no likelihood of her escaping ; 
Besides had she scap't, I was sure to retrieve her ; 
She being so ugly that none would receive her. 
I then fell to searching, since 1 could not hear her, 
I sought all the shelves, but never the nearer ; 
I troubled my papers and rifled each pocket, 
Threw my books all in heaps, and kept up such a racket, 
Disordering all things, which before had their places 
Distinct by themselves in several classes, 
That who'd seen the confusion and look'd on the ware 
Would have thought he had been at Babylon fair : 
At last when for lost I had wholly resigned her, 
Where cans't thou imagine, dear Knight, I should find her? 
Faith ! in an old drawer, I late had not been in, 
'Twixt a coarse pair of sheets of the Housewife's own 

A sonnet instead of a coif her head wrapping, 
I happily took her small Ladyship napping. 
'Why now, Minxe,' quoth I, 'What's the matter I pray, 
That you are so hard to be spoke with to day ? ' " 

9 Mr. John W. Sneyd, of Basford Hall, Wndly gave this description from 
his sick bed. The bear rampant would be introduced as the distinctive cognizance 
of the Newton Grange Beresfords, after Captain John bought the hall and manor. 

As seen from the West. The Well, still 
existing, was near the S.W. corner of the 
building. Fragments of the garden wall re- 
mained till the removal of the ruins by Mr. 
Green about two years ago. The hall itself 
was taken down about the year 1856, by Mr. 
Beresford-Hope who intended to rebuild it. 
Some of the mullions are used in the New r 

The Fishing House. 99 

The study looked south and was the nearest room 
to the cave, some fifty yards away. A few old yew 
trees remain as if to show how easy it would be to 
pass unobserved out of the windows of the one to the 
mouth of the other. 

Opposite the hall door, an oaken staircase led up to 
a lofty drawing room and a delightfully pleasant bedroom. 
Other chambers were on the same floor, and above 
them still other rooms, with a ladder leading from a 
gable of the older part of the house out upon the leads 
of an adjunct on the north side of the hall. The house 
was built in the shape of the letter L, the southern 
range being that containing the hall and study, etc., 
and the western, an older range of three gables. 

The bowling green was near the fishing house, 

which latter was thus described by Mr. White in 1 784 : 

"It is formed of stone and the room within is thirteen 
feet square and thirty feet high, paved with black and 
white marble. The roof, which is triangular in shape, 
terminates in a square stone sundial, surmounted by a 
globe and vane. It was originally wainscoted with walls 
of carved panels and divisions, in the larger spaces of 
which were painted some of the most interestino- scenes 
in the vicinity of the building ; whilst the smaller ones 
were occupied with groups of fishing tackle. In the 
right-hand corner stood a beaufet with foldino- doors 
on which were painted the portraits of Walton and 
Cotton attended by a servant boy ; and beneath it was 
a closet, having a Trout and a Grayling delineated on 
the door." 

Cotton had resided at Beresford as lono- as his 

ioo Beresford of Beresford. 

father lived. In view of his marriage he had joined 
his father in 1655 in vesting the manors of Bentley, 
Borrowash, and Beresford, together with the Rectory of 
Spondon and other lands, in order to pay off a mort- 
gage of ,£1,700 granted in July, 1655, by himself. This 
trust settled the manor of Beresford upon his father for 
life. But in 1658 the father died. 

A few years later, namely in 1665, Cotton obtained 
an Act of Parliament to sell part of his estates He 
dedicated a translation of Corneille's Tragedy of Horace, 
dated Beresford, 7th November, 1665, to his wife's sister, 
Stanhope Hutchinson, for whose private amusement it 
was written. Fresh Parliamentary powers of sale were 
obtained in 1675. The Act states that his wife was 
then dead ; 10 that he had one son and four daughters 
who were prevented from enjoying the advantages due 
to them by their father's mortgages and other debts, 
which, with .£2,000 as his daughters' portions, amounted 
to .£8,000. It was enacted that Cotton should retain 
Beresford and £"40 a year. He then married Mary, 
Dowager Countess of Wingfield, Earl of Ardglass, whose 
jointure of £1,500 a year did something to brighten 
his lot and to delay impending ruin. But fresh fortune 
led to fresh extravagance. It was in 1674-5 that he 
built the Fishing House. His new wife was the 
daughter of Sir William Russell, of Strensham, Worcester- 
shire, and by her first husband had had two children, 
Thomas, third Earl of Ardglass, and Mary who died 

10 She was buried at Alstonficld, 26th April, 1669. Her mother lived to be 
one hundred and two years old. {Reliquary, 1868, pi. xxi.) The return to Alstonfield 
church as the family sepulchre seems to show that the rectorial leases were then 


Dispersal of the Estate. 101 

young. The Earls were descended from the Meverells 
of Throwley ; and at that picturesque old house Cotton 
probably met his second wife. 11 Earl Wingfield, like 
his father and son, was buried in Ham Church. 

Cotton's two younger sons, Wingfield and Charles, 
both died young. The one was baptized 4th December, 
1662, and buried in 1664 at Ashbourne, and the other 
was baptized September 26th, 1665, and buried 10th 
February, 1668, — in the lifetime of his first wife. The 
choice of the name Wingfield shews Cotton's long 
acquaintance with the Throwley family whose ancient 
home was but an easy and romantic ride from Beresford. 

In April, 1659, the old connection between Beres- 
ford and Enstone had been finally severed ; Cotton then 
sold a messuage and farm called Enson ffarme in 
Marson, Sandon, and Salt, for ^650. 

In December, 1672, he sold the ancient Waterfall 
estate ; parting with a messuage, farm and lands to John 
Allcock for ^360 ; other lands there to Nicholas Barge 
for ^120; to Roger Smith of Cotton he sold a 
messuage, farm, and lands in Waterfall for ^285 ; to 
Thomas Hoode of Stanton a cottage and lands in 
Waterfall for ,£21, and to Francis Fynney a messuage 
and farm for ,£185. In May, 1673, further lands in 
Waterfall were sold to W. Alcock for £20. 

At last, in 1681, Beresford manor and manor house 
and lands came into the market. These were sold for 
^653 os. iod. 12 to Joseph Woodhouse of Wolfscote Hall, 

1 1 She was not the Lady Ardglass accused of kleptomania in the Duke of Man- 
chester's Court and Society. 

13 The Trustees were Charles and Beresford Cotton, W. Fitzherbert of Tissington, 

102 Beresford of Beresford. 

hard by, and at once repurchased by John Beresford of 
the Newton Grange branch, who was then the head of 
the family. An original letter of his to Cotton is in 
the D. Collection of family papers (No. 314). It may 
illustrate the rather unfriendly spirit which seems to 
have lingered long between Cotton and his cousins, and 
which perhaps accounts for the fact that Captain John 
Beresford could only save the Manor of Beresford by 
buying it back from Mr. Woodhouse. The letter runs : — 

" Hond Cosin. My concern is chiefly to crave yr pardon yt I have not 
wayteu on you at Beresford before this. I can truly say I was brought ouer this 
dismall weather by an urgent affair wch has tooke up my time & attendance every 
day almost and forcts me away this day towards Combermere to consult Sr Robt 
Cotton's Deeds about a contest I have with ye myners at Newton wch I hope yore 
goodness will excuse my omissions at this tyme whereof I am ashamed And indeed 
had I liberty I should be afraid (having accidentally seen Mr. Woodhouse and been 
informed by him of some late discourses youve had) yt you would conferre a friendly 
visitt .... wch truly I was a stranger to all manner of promotion of it till he told 
mee, but I think myself obliged since I am so unfortunate I cannot see you to 
acquaint you yt if you please to propose anything of your intent to Mr. Wood- 
house hee fully knows my mind in it and can informe you yt I am not unwilling 
of anything that can bee thought equall and reasonable to us both or at any time 
(now & always) to doe [so that] 1 may in any sense be serviceable & obliging to 
you, being Hond Cosin, Yor most oblig'd & faythfull Kinsman & Servant, Jo. Beres- 
ford. Cosin : I heartily congratulate you on ye disposall of yr Daughter & her 
late happy change is yr perfect content and satisfaction. I truly wish it may be 
to ye future happiness & comfort of you both." 

In the same handwriting is No. 306, a deed of 
lease from John Beresford, Esquire, of lands at Beres- 
ford to Thomas Sladen and John Bott, signed in the 
presence of Jo. Beresforde and Joseph Woodhouse, 
April, 1686. 

The allusion to the marriage of Cotton's daughter 

Charles Hutchinson of Owthorpe, and Alex. Stanhope of the Inner Temple, and 
possession was given at the house of Bryan Stanhope, of Derby, gent., 26 March, 

Cottons Descendants. 103 

reminds us that Olivia, his eldest daughter, married Dr. 
George. Stanhope, Dean of Canterbury, son of Thomas 
Stanhope, Rector of Hartshorn, Derbyshire. Catherine, 
baptized May 8th, 1664, married Sir Berkeley Lucy, of 
Broxbourne, Herts., third baronet. She died in 1740. 
Her daughter, Mary Lucy, married the Hon. Charles 
Compton, from whom the present Duke of Devonshire 
is descended. Catherine's grandaughter, Jane Cotton 
Compton, was the wife of Admiral Rodney ; and another 
grandaughter, Catherine Cotton Compton, was created 
Baroness Arden of Lohort Castle, her husband being 
John, Earl of Egmont. A third daughter, Jane Cotton, 
married Beaumont Parkyns, of Bunny, Notts. 

Much has been made of the lonely death of Cotton 
in London. He was buried at S. James's, Westminster, 
February 12th, 1687; but the fact that he was spoken 
of by Plot as being still of Beresford in 1686 seems 
to shew that he had simply gone up to London on a 
visit. The desolation of his last days cannot be other- 
wise accounted for than by the painful estrangement we 
have noted above. 

Little is known of his son, Beresford Cotton ; but 
that son's son, Stanhope Cotton, has left some vigorous 
and characteristic letters behind him which he wrote as 
Governor of Gibraltar in its earliest days as an English 
garrison. They will be found in the Egerton MSS., 
No. 2174, and shew not only the old masterful spirit 
of the Beresfords in the orders issued by the Governor 
that the Bishop of Cadiz was not to venture into 
Gibraltar for a Confirmation, and that the Jews were 
to take themselves out of the place, but the old gaiety 

104 Beresford of Beresford. 

of the Cottons, in his threatening to equip an expected 
"Fryar" with a senora "who 'tis ten to one may prove 
so kind and charitable that . . . may find the Convent 
too hot for his worship." In 17 17 an attack was ex- 
pected on the Garrison, and he promised his corres- 
pondent that if the Spaniards shall be so unwary he 
would " divert the youths " till help could arrive. But 
he presently complains that " notwithstanding my aiming 
at being Jokeous, I do assure you I was never less 
inclined, having for this fortnight past been very ill, 
and have spit blood almost every day. And .... I 
have by the last post an account that his Majesty has 
not been pleased to confirm my commission as Lt. Gov r . 
of this place ... So that I may very shortly have the 
pleasure of seeing you in England being positively 
resolved to desire to be recalled." 

Beresford manor remained in possession of John 
Beresford till nearly the end of his life in 1724. He 
was a distinguished local politician, a J. P. for the counties 
of Derby and Chester, and a D.L. The manor then 
passed away from the family till it was bought back 
again in 1825 by a member of the Irish branch — Lord 
William Carr- Beresford, the famous general, who gave it 
to his cousin, Lady Beresford, as a wedding present. 
From her it passed to her well-known son, the late 
Right Hon. A. J. Beresford- Hope, by whose son again, 
it was recently sold to its present owner, Mr. F. W. 
Green, of York. We hope someday, in God's Provi- 
dence, to afford fuller histories of the above three 
members of the family in connection with the branches 
to which they belong. 

Conclusio?i and Notes. 105 

As we conclude these pages, the touch of Spring 
is freshening Beresford Dale. The river is full and 
the trees are just bursting into leaf. But another Spring 
is reviving the old manor itself, in the hands of its 
new master. The ruins of the hall have been cleared 
away, the beacon tower rebuilt, the cottage enlarged, 
and endless rubbish raked from under the trees on the 
hill. Much of the old beauty of this ancient seat has 
reappeared. May happiness and blessing be found there. 


Whilst the last sheets were in the press, death carried off 
Mr. Samuel B. Beresford, one of the writers. He was a diligent 
collector of Beresford lore, and one of his last discoveries was to 
alight in Hall's Nantwich on a document which had previously 
escaped notice, but which confirms our conjecture on page 18 that 
the Hugh de Alstilfield who was man of business to Philippa de 
Malbanc (mother of the Countess of Warwick), was Hugh de 
Beveresford. In an original charter at Keele of about the year 
1228, "Philippa Mauban granted to Letisce wife of Peter de 
Stapele land against the mill, Wichomauben. Witnesses Hugh 
Decino de Wichomauben, Richard de Scandeford, Hugo de Beveres- 
ford," etc. — Ormerod's Cheshire, III., 495. 

A note on the hermitage in the rocks at Wolfscote may not 
be out of place here. From Mr, S. B. Beresford's notes on 
Hartington Registers we take the following : 

x 797- July 3. Francis Beresford of Hartington = Hannah Fogg 

1809. May 14. Baptised Francis son of Francis and Hannah 

1812. March 15. Hannah, daughter of Francis and Hannah 
Beresford of Wolscote Rock. (In 1815 they appear 
to have been living on Archford Moor.) 

106 Beresford of Beresford. 

The rock on the Staffordshire side, opposite Wolfscote her- 
mitage, also seems to have been pierced as an observation turret 
for watching the Dale. 

The seal attached by Canon James Beresford to the Deed 
which records the foundation of the two senior fellowships and 
scholarships of S. John's College, Cambridge, shows the rebus, as 
distinct from the arms, of the family. It has a bear fording a 
stream and going to the right hand. The ford, till of recent 
years, had no bridge, foot passengers going over by stepping 
stones, nine in number like the letters of the name " Beresford," 
including the stepping-off and alighting stones. 

We may with advantage to some readers here quote the 
following remarks of General Wrottesley, namely, i. That the 
hereditary offices in a Bishop's or Baron's household (pages 73, 93) 
were held by families of knightly rank and were considered highly 
honourable ; 2. That there was nothing unusual in the enfeoffment 
of a lot of clergymen, recorded on page 54 ; and 3, that the 
fines of 39 and 40 Elizabeth, quoted in the note on page 80, 
were simply conveyances of land to Edward Beresford. The 
reading of " De Eli" on page 16, the General points out should 
be "Fitz Elias," as we give it later. Fitz Adam (page 15-17) 
he thinks was an Okeover ; and he does not consider that a 
Forest could have had any stragetical purpose, but was wholly for 

Although the old volume mentioned on page 14, and quoted 
as to its "page 66" by Blore, has not yet been found, I observe 
a notice of it in Vol. I. of Bassano's Staffordshire M.S., in the 
William Salt Library. Written on an old pedigree of the Poles 
are the words : "I finde John de Beresford agrees diferancys with 
Richard Pole of Hartington. Ano 18 Ed III. . Vid. my Parch- 
man cove MS. marked C. p. 66. Legh de Eginton." The date 
of this note would be about 1708. 



Abbeys: Burton 6,28 

Calke 42 

Combermere 12, 18, 37, 58, 64, 

Calwich 59 

Croxden ... ••• ••• 3 2 

Darley 6 7 

Dieulacres 23, 30, 31, 40. 5°i 6l 

Ilulton 23, 71 

Ranton l6 

Tutbury 2 8 

Adam, Fitz i5» 17, 106 

Alstonfield 17, 20, 23, 37, 40, 41. 43, 

45. 5 2 > 58, 67, 80 

Hugh de. 


Alton Castle ... 
Angler, Complete 
Arbor Lowe ... 
Archbishop Abbott 

Archford Bridge 
Ardglass, Earl of 
Arms ... 
Arrows, Twelve 
Aston, Sir J. 
Audley ... 


... 45. 62, 69 

58, 66, 67, 82, 100 

17, 18, 105 


23, 29 




61, 64 


• • 38. 47, 5». 53. 57 


100, 101 

32, 73. 78, 97. 106 
10, 54 

24, 52 

56, 58 

7°. 73 

8, 15, 17, 18, 23. 4'. 6 4. 74 

Bagnal . 
Basset . 
Battles : 


26, 42, 52, 60, 97 

31. 72. 73 

14, 106 

26, 35. 5i. 55, 60, 61, 63, 68 

Agincourt ... 
Borough Bridge 
Burton Bridge 
Beacon Tower ... 3, 

Bears ... 
Beaver ... 

Bentley 7, 


John de ... 
Hugh de . . . 
William de 
Christopher de 
Aden de ... 

47, 55 



27, 35 


11, 32, 95. 96 
19, 78, 106 

9, 19 

49, 67, 96, 97 


8, 13 
13, 14 
13, 17 



Hugh de... 17, 18, 20, 105 
John de ... ... ... 21 

Juliana ... ... ... 21 

Beresford, Hugh de (1274) 24 

Aden de (1322-1338) 25 to 38, 

Beatrice de ... 36, 37, 38 

W. de 27, 39, 49 

John de (1310-1349) 36, 39, 42 

Robert de 
Adyn de (1350).. 
Thomas and W. . 
Hugo de ... 
Henry de ... 

... 43 
... 36 
42. 51 
... 43 
... 42 
... 44 


• 47 

• 47 

■ 51 

• 50 

• 51 

• 51 

Beresford, John de (1380) ... 
Aden de (1398) ... 
Agnes de ... 
Robert and Henry de 
John de (1381) ... 
Cecilia de ... 
Thomas of Newton Grange 51, 

55. 56, 84 
Aden de ... ... ... 55 

Richard ... ... ... 56 

John and William ... 57 

Henry 58 

Canon ... 58, 66, 67, 106 

John de (1429) 58 

John de (1443-1470) 60, 65 
Cecilia ... ... 65 

De dropped .. ... 59 

John (1470-1524) 68, 69 

Margaret ... ... ... 68 

Robert (1522-1542) 72, 76 
Richard ... ... ... 72 

Mary 72 

Sampson (1542-1593) 74, 78 

Ed\vard(i593-i62i)78,8i, 106 

First Wife ... 78 

Daughter 79, 80 

Will 81 

Richard 81 

Aden of Bentley ... 78, 84, 96 


Captain John 

... 87 

44, 5 2 > 53, 
... 67 
... 104 
... 104 
14, 46 
19, 38, 69 



A. T. B. Hope 

Rev. E. A. 

Col. G. W. 

Lawrence and John 46, 67, 91 

S. B 72, 105 

Captain Richard ... ... 48 

Beresford Dale 2, 105 

Hall ... 79, 91, 95, 96, 97 

Manor i, 6, 8, 9, 10, 46, 101, 


Beresford Mill 87 

Birchover ... ... ... 82, 96 

Bishop Peche 16 

Son ... ... ... 16 

Fitz 15, 16 

Ken 93 

de Limesi 16 

Daughter... ... 16 

Overall 75 

Pursglove ... ... ... 64 

Black Death ... ... ... ... 42 

Blore 15, 61 

Blore, Thomas 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 106 
Booseley ... ... ... ... 33 

Bosley ... 82 

Bowling Green ... ... ... 99 

Bowmen ... ... ... 47, 51 

Broncote ... ... ... 27, 41, 42 

Broughton ... ... ... 65, 76 

Bucknall 68 

Burston... ... ... ... 71, 74 

Butterlon ... ... ... 15, 20, 22 

Buxton ... ... ... .. I, 56 

Camps ... 

Cambridge : S. John's College 


Canute, King ... 

Castern... ... ... ... 15 

Castle Rock .. 


Caves ... ... ... 3, 93, 




Chapel at Beresford ... 44, 46 


Cheddleton .-.15, 20, 22, 30, 31 

Chester, Earl of 

Honor of 
Chesterfield, Earl of ... 
Church Eaton... 

... 2, 4 

67, 106 

60, 61 

II, 20 

, 22, 26 

3, 19 
... 40 

99, 105 

... 26 

... 62 

... 67 

7i. 72 
... 68 

47, 49 

8, 10 

... 10 

••• 93 

... 31 

... 31 

... 20 



Coins found 

Condlyffe Deeds 
Conqueror, The 
Cotes ... 

Cotton Charles, Senior 


Cottage, Royal 

Danes ... 
Dean of Lincoln 

Deeds, Old 6, 7, 


Degge, Sir S 


Despencer ...16, 17, 



Dove, River I, 5, 6, 

Drury, Mr 


38, 47 




18, 24, 57. 74 


3, 6, 89-102 



... 19 



... 63, 65, 68 



16, 44, 48, 52, 57 

• •• 5. 34, 57 

7, 14, 96, 97 

18, 22 

25, 29, 30, 40, 41 


...6, 9, 15, 20 

9, 28, 33, 35, 105 

... 7, 42, 48 

Edward 1 22, 23 

Edward II 8, 18, 32, 35 

Edward III 35 

Elias, Fitz 16 

Elkstones ... ... ... ... 45 

Enstone 36, 58, 64, 68, 71, 75, 77, IOI 

Erdeswick 36, 64, 73, 75 

Escheator of Staffordshire ... 66, 78 

Fall in the Well 
Fawfieldhead ... 
Fawn ... 
Ferrers ... 
Fishing House 
Flack et... 

••• 35 
• ••2, 5 
... 10 
15. 34 
... 99 
24, 26, 60 
••• 59 


Flashbrook 73 

Folvylle 37 

Fords 2, 12, 19, 20, 35, 106 

Forest 10, II, 12, 17, 19, 25, 26, 30, 44, 
46, 52, 55. 57. 8o, 106 

Frith 2, 19 

Funeral, A Great 69, 70 

Furnival 29, 30 


... 23 




58, 72 



Godwin, Earl ... 

6, 20 

Gould ... 



46, 61 


12, 58 



Grave, Solitary 

... 38 

Green, Mr. F. W. .. 

... 104 




47, 48 

" H. S. C."— " Collections for a History 

of Staffordshire " often 

Halifax, Lord 93 

Hanson 5, 20, 59 

Harpur... 74 

Hartington ... 1,2,20,2434,35,39, 
52, 54, 105 

Heathcote 5 6 

Heathylee 2 

Helegh Castle 28 

High Frith 2, 19, 44 

Hole House 71 

Hollins 61 

Hoode 62, 101 

Hulme End (see Asholme) 2, 16, 38 

Hutchinson 92, 100 

Ham 21, 22, 23 

Ingestre, Lady of 31 

Inquisitions 22, 39, 71, 73 

Ipstones ... 8, 15, 21, 26, 31, 49, 82 

Irish Branch .. 51, 67 

Ivernians ... ... ... ... 5 


22, 26, 27, *8, 30, 49, 62, 63 

27, 28, 29, 32, 33, 




49, 50 



2, 5, 44, 46, 57 



Lancaster, Earl of 

Duke of 


Lead Mining ... 



Light Railway... 


Macclesfield Forest 

Mad Laurence 

Malbanc 8, 9, io, II, 12, 17, 19, 25, 

30, 52, 105 
Manifold ... ... ••• ••• 2 

Marches ... ••• ••• ••• 12 

Marshall of the County ... 66, 77 

Marsh 95 

Mercer le 3 1 

Meverell 21, 29, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 101 




49, 58, 62, 63 


Mundy ... 

Noel ... 

•37, 38, 4°, 42, 44, 52, 54 

16, 73 

Newton Grange 12, 50, 51, 58, 81, 96 

Okeover .. 5, 8, 15, 21, 22, 24, 106 




Peter of Chester 


Pike Pool 

Place names ... 







13, 14, 21, 22, 37 


...1, 4, 20, 58 



S3, 56, 106 



2, 17, 19, 40 



Rock Fortress... 


Roses, Wars ... 
Round, Mr. 
Runaway Match 


Saxons ... 

Scotch Wars . _ 


Sheen ... 

Shrewsbury, Earl of 


Socage Tenure 










... 3. 5, 20 

• •• 55. 59,64 


22, 31, 40, 42, 49 

... 36, 64, 81 



10, 20, 35, 41, 57 

... 21, 49, 56 
9, 10 

• •• 10, 41, 43 
16, 36, 38, 50 

31, 32 
79, 81, 86, 87 



... 36, 40, 43 

Tarn worth 
Taylor ... 
Thorpe ... 
Tower ... 
Treasure Trove 
Trent, River .. 
Trussell, Judge 

Verdun ... 


35, 62 



21, 29, 60, 61, 62, 101 

60, 64 

66, 67 


32, 33 

36, 39, 75 


27, 28, 30, 32 


8, 12, 23 

Walton, Izaak 93, 99 

Warslow 6, 9, 22, 37, 44, 45, 46, 56, 58, 


Warwick, Countess of 
Wedding, A Great 


Whey well 
White, Mr. ... 


... 17, 25, 105 
15, 18, 19, 88 




36, 78 
... 69, 77, 80 

Wolfscote 1, 9, ii, 10, 20, 52, 55, 56, 105 

Woodhouse 6, 52, 101 

Wrottesley, W. 
Wrottesley, General 




8, 11, 15, 20, 106 




A Jew copies of Part III. (privately printed) 
containing Papers o?i the late Admiral Sir yohn 
Poo Beresford, Beresford and Wright, A recension 
of the Beresford Ghost Story by the Lord Primate 
of Ireland (Marcus G. Beresford), Fitzherbert and 
Beresford, and the Right Hon. John Beresford, 
with Portraits of Lady Betty Cobbe, the Admiral, 
Elizabeth (Beresford) Wright, Agnes Beresford 
(Lady Fitzherbert), and the Right Hon. jfohn 
Beresford, may still be had post free from the 
Rev. W. Beresford, R.D., Leek, for yj6. 


,, ; ff FAClLr 

D 000 21 649 {™